The big news today was the resounding victory of Congress and its allies in the Indian Lok Sabha 2009 elections. I expected Congress to win, but not by such a decisive margin. And despite the fact that urban India didn’t care much about the elections (that blog post, BTW, was mentioned in DNA India – although I’m not amused with overuse of the word slam yet again).
Exit pollsters were proved wrongs once again. I think rather than actually conducting any exit polls they just randomly assigned some figures and decided to become fence-sitters. After the debacle of 2004 Lok Sabha election exit polls where they crowned the wrong king, I don’t think they wanted to take any chances this year. Strangely, the Indian media seems to be in a state of denial congratulating itself for ‘being more accurate’. That’s so totally not ‘being accurate’ r-tards. It’s called ‘not sticking your foot in your mouth‘.
Election coverage was melodramatic as usual. Both Rajdeep Sardesai and Arnab Goswami seemed to have taking a few public speaking lessons from Star News Sansani goon (better known as the “चैन से सोना है तो जाग जाओ guy”). Both were shouting, gesticulating and in short trying their level best to win the award of National Douchebag. Arnab Goswami wanted “spend 10 minutes with Abhishek Manu Singhvi” and hug Kapil Sibal in the studio for reading out (un)funny SMS jokes. Rajdeep Sardesai started asking Farooq Abdullah for an all-expenses paid junket on air (referring to an invite Farooq Abdullah had extended to Rajdeep Sardesai’s family earlier), before Rajdeep realised this was national television and refused “any kind of state hospitality”. I didn’t bother watching NDTV since their endless analysis and backslapping of buddies reminiscing good ol’ days bores me to death.
Manmohan Singh and his team totally pwned the NDA. (Disturbing images of Manmohan Singh doing the disco with fake sideburns slapped onto his face flash in my mind.) The people of India showed – once again – that they don’t want a negative campaign a la the one NDA run. BJP simply didn’t learn the lesson taught in Delhi Assembly elections 2008, probably writing it off as an urban voter phenomenon. And they still don’t want to accept their mistake. People don’t want gaudy ads on blogs or a prime ministerial candidate pushing 81 years of age trying to act cool or sudden flashbacks to bygone eras. Nor do they want to hear about issues which have been flogged to death (1984 riots – note that Congress won more seats in Punjab this election than SAD+BJP even after The Shoe Incident; Bofors scandal, et al). People don’t want to hear about fingers being pointed at various issues without being given serious ways to resolve them. (I’m talking about stuff like security and recession, which BJP has tried to ever since campaigning began.)
Instead, people recognize that in highly educated Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram (oh, he won all right), Pranab Mukherjee & Co they have extremely able leaders. They see the heights our economy had gone to before the global recession made its impact. I won’t be suprised if with this strong mandate the Sensex doesn’t shoot through the roof when markets open on Monday (especially now that the Left Front can’t throw any spanner in the works). A lot remains to be done, true, but a lot has been done – including schemes like the NREGA.
Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan must be repenting being greedy today. At least, Lalu is sorry for short-changing the Congress. RJD and LJP thought they could muscle in more power by fighting against Congress in Bihar, but ultimately it left them shattered. Most surprising has been the strong show that Congress has put up in Uttar Pradesh. For the first time, Congress is a force to reckon in UP and doesn’t need to lean on SP / BSP crutches. The credit goes to Rahul Gandhi who a) convinced the Congress high command to battle it alone in UP b) campaigned extensively in UP.
Left Front’s defeat in the communist bastions of West Bengal and Kerala came as a big shock, admitted Prakash Karat. While I’m not happy about Khamata Mamta Banerjee winning in West Bengal, it is better than having Left parties who base their politics on nothing other than pure rhetoric.
Phew! That was a long post. I’m just happy that today we got a strong, stable, progressive, and competent government at the centre for the next five years.