Friday, May 22, 2009

Election 2009 - The Verdict

This is going to be an extremely big post. I don’t expect anyone to read it from top to bottom. You are welcome to read the section which you feel would be interesting and leave a comment. I have tried my best to break down the post into appropriate sections. First timers here who are not interested in Politics are requested to ignore this post and scroll below. I am not an advocate of politics; you might find other interesting topics below  :)

Before we go into the details of election, let me share some data with for people who are not very familiar with India. With more than 1 billion inhabitants, India ranks second only to China among the world's most populous countries. Its people are culturally diverse, and religion plays an important role in the life of the country. About 80.5% of the Indians practice Hinduism, a religion that originated in India. Another 13.4% of the population is Muslims. This makes India home to the third-largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan. India also contains the majority of the world's Christians (2.3%), Sikhs (2%), Buddhists (0.8%), Jains (0.4%) and Jews. Eighteen major languages and more than 1,000 minor languages and dialects are spoken in India. Religious majorities vary greatly in different states. Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep are Muslim majority states; Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram are Christian majority; Punjab is mostly dominated by Sikhs; Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim states mainly have Buddhists.

Age Structure:

0-14 years: 31.5% 

15-64 years: 63.3% 

65 years and over: 5.2% 

Sex Ratio:

At birth: 1.12 male(s)/female (2008)

Under 15: 1.10 male(s)/female (2008)

15-64 years: 1.06 male(s)/female (2008)

Presently there are 8,28,804 polling stations in the country. The campaign for clean politics seems to have paid off. Voters have given a thumbs down to MPs having serious criminal records cutting across party lines. In many constituencies where one or two candidates had criminal charges, most voters rejected them. But in some seats voters didn't have a choice, as most candidates had criminal backgrounds. That's one reason why the 15th Lok Sabha will still have MPs who have criminal cases to their names. The BJP tops the list - 43 of its MPs have criminal cases. The Congress comes a close second with 41 of its MPs facing criminal charges.
A record 59 women were elected to the 15th Lok Sabha, with a majority - 23 - belonging to the Congress party alone. In all, 556 women had contested the 2009 general elections. While the Congress topped the list, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came second with 13 women being elected.
CPI [M]:

The CPM virtually wrote the obituary of the Third Front saying the defeat of the Left in its strongholds and the failure of the alliance in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu undermined any effective presence of the grouping at the national level. A short note taken from Politburo Communique on Lok Sabha Polls : The serious reverses suffered by the CPI (M) and the Left parties in West Bengal and Kerala are of deep concern. The CPI (M) has lost 25 sitting seats from these two states. The CPI (M) has won 16 seats with a vote share of 5.33 per cent, which is marginally less than the 5.66 per cent it got in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. There should be a serious examination of the reasons for these reverses. Both national and state specific factors are responsible for the poor performance. A self-critical review will be conducted by the concerned state committees and the Central Committee, which should form the basis for corrective steps. The Party will make all out efforts to regain the support and confidence of those sections of the people who have been alienated. The full report could be read here. The CPI-M had fielded candidates in 81 seats, but could win only in 16 showing a success rate of 19.75 per cent. CPI, on the two-day meeting of the party National Executive, spoke of the need for "humility and total absence of arrogance" in the behavior and attitude of all Left leaders, remarks seen as a veiled attack on CPI(M) leaders, especially its General Secretary Prakash Karat. "The central committee, in its meeting held in Kochi in January 2009, had worked out the electoral-tactical line and given the direction that the Left parties along with the secular parties should work together to make a non-Congress, non-BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) alternative realisable," Karat said in the latest edition of the party mouthpiece, People's Democracy.

Personally I feel that this result is people’s verdict against the party governance under Pinarayi Vijayan [ Kerala] and Prakash karat [Centre]. The longer the party takes to realize its mistake, the weaker it would become. As a strong supporter of left, I would only wish that the leaders realize that they work for a party which is supposed to be with the working class. I wonder how the comrades who gave their life long earnings and their life for the growth of this party would react if they know about the assets of the party today. The Rs.250-million park named Vismaya Infotainment Centre, set up over 30 acres at Parassinikkadavu in Kannur district, Kerala is run by the Malabar Pleasures India Limited under the party-led Malabar Tourism Development Cooperative Society. Times Now names CPI[M] as India’s third richest party in terms of assets. In Kerala, the CPI-M has buildings, runs hospitals and holds substantial stakes in a television company Kairali TV. The Kerala unit of the CPI-M is the best example of neo-liberalism. CPI(M) sitting MP from Kasaragod P Karunakaran, who won his second term from this northern Kerala Lok Sabha constituency, has assets worth over Rs 25 lakh while his wife over Rs 1.53 crore by way of immovable and movable property. This comes from a member of a party which claims to be socialistic in nature!


The BJP has been rejected by the people as it could not offer anything beyond its communal agenda combined with rightwing economic policies which the people had already spurned in 2004.The rabid communal rhetoric of the likes of Varun Gandhi and Narendra Modi dominated its election campaign. The magic of the saffron brigade’s aggressive brand of Hindu nationalism, which saw BJP’s meteoric growth from a mere two seats in 1984 to 184 in 1999 General Elections, could not make a dent this time. It is evident that Varun Gandhi’s hate speech this time around seemed to have gone down badly with the people despite him winning his own constituency handsomely. BJP was completely routed in the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, with Congress bagging all the seven seats, that too with huge margins of over one lakh votes in all constituencies. BJP has admitted that it had lost influence in its stronghold of urban, middle and upper class voters along with Sikhs, causing the party dearly at the hustings.
Though the media sings out loud that Election 2009 marks the victory of Manmohan Sing, I see it as a victory of the youth icon of the Congress – Rahul Gandhi. This time, there are some young faces in the 15th Lok Sabha - over 70 MPs, below the age of 40, some of them first-timers, yet brimming with confidence. Sycophancy has always been part of the Congress culture, but this time the focus has shifted from the mother to Gandhi junior. The Victory of Congress could not be sung to completion without talking about the most promising MP – Shashi Tharoor. He is elected MP from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala with a stunning margin of close to 100,000 votes. 
For people who don’t know about him : Dr.Shashi Tharoor is an Indian diplomat, politician, and author who served as the UN Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information between June 2002 and February 2007. In 2006, he was the official candidate of India for the office of United Nations Secretary-General, and came second out of seven official candidates in the race. He is an author, journalist, human-rights advocate, humanitarian and adviser or fellow of various institutions, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Aspen Institute, and the USC Center on Public Diplomacy. Shashi Tharoor was born in London. His roots are in Palakkad, Kerala, India. He completed a Ph.D. at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Massachusetts, where he also earned two Master’s degrees. His Ph.D. was awarded when he was 22, a Fletcher record. Details on books he wrote could be found here.  
 “The governing coalition led by the Indian National Congress sailed to a surprisingly decisive victory in India’s grueling parliamentary elections, vaulting Manmohan Singh, a soft-spoken economic reformer, to a second term as Prime Minister, and sweeping away the prospect of political instability in the world’s most populous democracy,” said the New York Times on May 16.

The Times, London, said the election results would help in consensus and unity. “That means the ruling coalition should face fewer internal divisions over reforms desperately needed to stimulate growth and spread its benefits to the 880 million Indians who live on less than 2 dollars a day," it said.

“Congress wins election, Singh to remain PM: India votes for hope; rejects religion, caste”, said the headline of Daily Times, the Pakistani newspaper, on May 17.

Performance scored over identity politics, inclusive agenda scored over communal agenda and regional parties demonstrated they can have their space along with national parties if they deliver. This was the message of Election 2009 in India. In India, the first coalition government came to power at the centre in 1989 when V.P. Singh became prime minister with support both from the Right and the Left. Since then the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have also given in to the compulsions of coalition politics, forming the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) respectively with the help of various regional parties. In the results of the 15th Lok Sabha polls declared Saturday, the UPA emerged as the largest coalition with 270 seats in a house of 543 and the Congress as the single largest party with 206 seats. The last time the Congress won more than 200 seats was in 1991, when its tally was 232. The UPA also has the support of four independent MPs, taking it beyond the halfway mark of 272. With BSP, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal offering support from outside, the strength of the treasury benches has gone up to a comfortable 322. 

Congratulations to Congress led UPA. The markets reacted positively with a 20% hike on the first day trade after the results were announced. Lets hope that this positive vibe would remain through out.


Keshi said...

I dun think I 'qualify' to comment in this post Sawan, cos Im not that knowledgable in elections, politics, markets and India's voting systme :)

But I hope all will be good at the end of elections.


santasizing...Fantasizing said...

i liked reading enhanced my limited political knowledge....
and i agree with you on the Rahul Gandhi success story..
Hes one dude...and knows his stuff...and thats why we need more people like him enter oour politics...and probably he knows that...and is doing all he can to get that done...
hats off to the young force!!

Rià said...

Lets hope this marks the beginning of a new era with fresh blood infused into the political battlefield.

Yamini Meduri said...

thats a nice and perfect post for the season..!!!

Liked it..!!!

After nearly two years of discussion.....the results are al out...but to me, disappointing....!!!

Illeen said...

I quite like what the Daily times had to say about the elections.
This election would serve as a lesson to many major parties,esp the BJP and the left.

Varun's speech might ve helped BJP win in one constituency but they lost out on 10 others because of that.

And this is a good time for congress to prove itself now that they have the mandate.

Personally,m happy for Mr Tharoor.

Very informative post with the all facts :)

Amritorupa Kanjilal said...

anil- i was SO hoping you'ld just write a poem about the fall of the laal jhanda...
but very thorough, and for all your hard work i read it through and through :)

Tangerine said...

i m not as knowledgeable abt politics as i wud like to be bt ya i agree with the rahul gandhi thing.

Good post.

A Poetess said...

im going to comment like a dimwit but anyway i think the elections this time ROCKED!!
Except West Bengal. Personally i think the decrease of the CPI(m)'s margin in the state is cause of concern for the pro-development of the industrial type intelligentsia. Trinamul-congress alliance might be voted to power if buddhadeb ji is forced to step down and this could make development of the state come to a further standstill. the cpi(M) under Jyoti Basu for 25 years had ruined the state. Whatever progress was made was due to the single handed effort of buddhadeb bhattacharjee often at the risk of earning ire of his fellow comrades!
I wish and hope that the cpi(m) stays in power when we go to elections for the state.
PS-thanks for writing a socially and politically relevant post!

Saranya S said...

That was a very informative and analytical post. As many said, I don't know much about it. However, it is really amazing that you have given time effort to write this.
Hope all went good. (all over right?)

swati said...

Good to see atleast sm1 is into serious blogging..u really deserve an applause fr this..a post on elections and tat too like this one was really needed..

good day:)

Urmi said...

Thanks for your comment...Actually I am a very romantic person so my most of the shayaris are romantic and it comes spontaneously...You are welcome in my other blogs too.
I liked your blog very much...Though I am not that much interested in politics and do not have much knowledge but after reading your post I gained knowledge and also fully agree whatever you have written about Rahul Gandhi.

Cяystal said...

You did good by enhancing my knowledge on Elections. Why?
1) My Civics project is on Civics.
2) In the next Lok Sabha, I'll vote too! :D
Lets pray that Manmohan Singh does justice to his second chance!

Lydia said...

Wow this really gave me a lot of inforamtion but it was very interesting to read. It was also very handy with my geography project as it was meant to be on current affairs in another country!

New post up! Check it out if you can!

Anonymous said...

i have not read this post... :(

but I am sure it is full of much needed knowledge..

hugsss! maarna mut.. :(

p.s. missing you.. kahaan hai?

Lydia said...

Hey you! Thanks so much for the comment. In response , yeah TYR is even better then it sounds. While I'm writing this I just got a copy of the DVD of the school musical we organised. In on aspect transition year is the best part of the irish school system! lolz

yeah I'm on GTalk, why do you ask?

Luscious Sealed Lips said...

Sorry, did not read the entire post but I am pretty happy with the new Government and Cabinet being formed. Makes me feel stronger about the Govt.


NesQuarX said...

Ooh... So many numbers... Pretty pretty numbers... Numbers make government... Yay! Can we party now?

Anil Sawan said...

Keshi, if you live in a democratic nation, u r qualified :) politics is same everywer , only the rule of the game differs! I hope so too! thnx

Anil Sawan said...

Richa, Read about Sachin Pilot, he is much more a bindas guy thn Rahul :) u take care grl.

Anil Sawan said...

Ria, i just wish the fresh blood infused are allowed to think as well!

Anil Sawan said...

Yamini, oh, disappointing!! who wer u supporting? :P

Anil Sawan said...

Illeen, have to agree on that :) thnx for ur views on it grl :)

Anil Sawan said...

Amrita, zyada ho gaya na? :( thnx for taking the pain swts :)

Fr. Jerry Kurian said...

Excellent post Anil. You have managed to bring out a neutral assessment of the elections and the left, right and center of the politics in India. I agree with your thoughts on the CPM in Kerala. Guess you should do more posts on politics as it is one thing that young people shy away from in India today.