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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Indian voters stun BJP, Congress juggernaut rolls on: Lok Sabha election results 2009

The Congress' victory and its revival has surprised even the most optimistic party workers who till recently appeared unsure that they would be able to reach close to 190* seats.

The 'weak' Manmohan Singh has knocked the 'Iron Man' LK Advani out of the electoral ring. Nobody had anticipated that the UPA would get the mandate once again, despite the anti-incumbency.

Such was the propaganda machinery of BJP and failure of TV channels to notice any under current, that even the senior Congress leaders would say that they expect 150 plus seats. On the eve of counting Digvijay Singh, who had to speak optimistically, gave a figure of 170. In his heart he must have been thinking of 150 as a more pragmatic number. However, the party has seen a magical revival, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Not just rural India, the urban voters also rooted for the sober, down-to-earth Sardar and rejected the 'loud-mouthed' BJP leaders' who were always thundering and threatening.

There is a word in Hindi-Urdu: Badbola. Perhaps, it is this 'badbolapan' which Indians don't like. After the failure of India shining, this is the second BJP defeat in successive elections.

The 'Iron Man' failed to find favour among the electorate. The BJP's self-proclaimed toughness on terrorism didn't cut ice with the Indian voters. Perhaps, the histrionics didn't go down well.

May be Indians do have a soft corner for the dynasty but it's not just Nehru-Gandhi family but the humility of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi that does strike a chord with the voters. Rahul's visits to Dalit hutments and decision to sleep in huts at night seems to have sent a message. Though BJP leaders then mocked at him, but he didn't reply in the same idiom.

It is certainly a vote against Advani. The mild and soft-spoken Vajpayee was no longer on the scene. And voters were quite clear that they were exercising vote for the Parliament. That's why Congress had unexpected gains from across the country, even exceeding the most sympathetic opinion polls and exit polls.

The predictions had failed to understand the mood of voters, who were just not ready to go for communal, divisive and emotive issues.

Now there can be innumerable analyses like the success of NREGA (National Rural Guarantee Scheme) or Sonia Gandhi's charisma coupled with Rahul-Priyanka's charm who didn't aspire for any position just like their mother compared to octogenarian Advani's yearning for the post of PM and Narendra Modi's stake as next Prime Minister.

Urban middle-class Indian may call it gimmick but for rural folk, it is something that matters. Meanwhile, Nitish Kumar's JDU, Navin Patnaik's BJD, Mamata Bannerjee's Trinamool Congress, Karunanidhi's DMK and Y Rajashekhar Reddy are among the other heroes of the election.

The most spectacular results of the Lok Sabha election 2009:

1. Left citadel crumbled. That's a lesson to arm-chair Communists like Prakash Karat who don't come from Trade Unionist background, but run party like private-owned company. Karat acted like a despot.

2. Most of the psephologists were claiming that the 'enigmatic' Mayawati's BSP was going to win over 40 seats (though I felt that she was not going to increase to her tally and had mentioned it) and she stands more or less at the same number she was in the last election.

3. Congress revival in the Hindustani heartland is astonishing. The Upper Castes who had voted for BSP in Assembly elections voted for Brahmin candidates of Congress. A section of Muslims too voted for Congress' Muslim candidates like M Azharuddin.

4. Yes, everybody expected RJD to perform badly but Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP's poor performance has been a real surprise. What happened to his committed voter? Development and comparative decline in crime during Nitish Kumar's regime split even the strong Dalit (and Muslim) vote of Paswan.

5. Urban areas including national capital Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai that was targeted by terrorists, snubbed BJP. This once again proves that Indians don't like loud war-mongering leaders. This is a setback for BJP.


Anonymous said...

Just two word.............."Jai Ho"

A slap to BJP.

We need a secular government.

It's time for BJP to shun right wing policies

Kimsonia said...

BJP will have to change its anti-poor, anti-Dalit, anti-tribal, anti-farmer, anti-Muslim and anti-Christian policies.

Anonymous said...

Good that Pakistan-born Advani is not going to be Prime Minister.

Minor said...

Politics are in this way only we cannot expect what happens and who wins. Michigan

Anshul Trivedi said...

Indeed ... secular government at the centre is the best thing possible ... But sir in the face of this setback their are two results possible for the BJP... Either it will moderate its stance on many issues or it will become even more vociferously communal to galvanize their "base vote". As the RSS controls the levers of stratgy in BJP, we can expect concerted efforts to communalize Indian politics! It should be noted that the BJP has consistently diminished their seat share since the time of Babri Masjid demolition which brought them to power, after Congress has organizational problems ... I hope they don't take this line...

Opinionated Indian said...

From thousands of years, this country has taken peace to heart and hence history of India is clean and green. If this country is as fanatic as it is portrayed by minorities, UPA would not be at the centre.
It is high time minorities stop feeling as aliens and extend to support to this country which is their homeland rather than zingoistic organizations which has only one agenda: Blood.

Kundan said...

1. BJP won in Azamgarh
2. BJP won in Mangalore
3. BJP won in Bangalore
4. BJP won in Bhagalpur
5. BJP won from Bangalore North which has a population of around 30-35% of muslim voters
6. BJP won in Pnachmahal(earlier Godhra lok sabha constituency)
7. BJP won in Vidharbha area ( where farm loan waiver was supposed to have brought max relief for farmers)
8. Champions of minorities A R Antulay, Lalu Prasad, Ram Vilas Paswan lost.
9. Noor Bano lost in Rampur to Jaya Prada despite a so called wave for Congress.
10. In a vote for secularism , only 7 out of 35 muslim candidates put up by congress could win the election, despite there being a wave in favour of congres and total rejection of "communal forces" by the people of India.

Rahul Gandhi did rallies in 106 constituencies, UPA won in 65 of them but in 2004 also UPA had won 59 of those seats.So Rahul effectively helped UPA win 6 additional seats.

Narendra Modi did rallies in 119 seats, BJP won 58 of those seats, in 2004 they had won only 37 of these 119 seats.So Modi helped BJP add 21 new seats to its kitty. Now take a call on who clicked and who didnt.

Yes BJP lost all 7 seats in Delhi. Its a pro development vote by the Delhi voters for sheila dixit .

BJP lost Mumbai seats only because of division of anti UPA votes. MNS polled more than a lakh vote in each of 12 constituencies it contested and all 12 were won by UPA with a margin of 2000-1.2 lakhs votes.

Vijaikanth split the anti UPA votes in TN ( was propped by DMK with huge sums of money). Chiranjeevi split the anti congress vote in AP and it was clear he was being propped up by YSR only as a spoiler.

These factors alone count for around 55-60 seats in favour of the UPA (about 45 for the congress).

So its the poll management of Congress (read propping up dummies like Vijaikanth, CHiru and MNS)which has actually won .Now we can attribute the win to a whole lot of factors but as they say "Success has many fathers, failure leaves too many orphans".

The true winner of these polls is Indian democracy and the people of our great country. And for those wishing an early death to the BJP, well all I can say is its purely wishful thinking.

Sandeep Monga said...

Yes,there has been a division in the votes of BJP in Maharahshtra,Andhra but te same has happened to Congress in Bihar.I am happy that there is a stable government at centre & a central party has more votes than the regional parties.It shows that we Indians refuse to be divided in the name of cast creed,religion,colour etc..I am a from a family which are traditional BJP supporters but still I am so happy because I do not support the negative campaign run by the BJP.I love my country more than any party.I have always believed that it is the Congress which has been dividing us by playing the stupid issues like religion,cast & creed & if they have realised that now is the time to change then it is good.The BJP got a kick in the butt good ,now they should also realise that they should unite rather than divide.Dividing us will break us & no one will gain.We should be united at any cost & wwe have shown this to our leaders & it is about time they realised this.Amen

How do we know said...

i was waiting for ur analysis all morning.. thanks a ton for this.

J P Joshi said...

The voter has not only stunned the BJP, it has even stunned most of the educated elite and analysts who could never imagine such an outcome. Jai Ho to the wise Indian voter and the strength of the Indian democracy that is based on a liberal Constitution.

captainjohann said...

BJP lost because it didnot have a policy for the nation.There are lot of issues in which the lame duck manmohan government took descisions but BJP was more on to bashing socalled pseudo secularism which most of the Indians seem to like instead of exposing these issues.

indscribe said...

Anshul, Anon, Opinionated Indian: Thanks for comments.

Kundan: I fully agree with your last sentence. And yes, Congress shouldn't get arrogant.

You have some valid observations but did you also notice that in this election Muslims didn't specially vote for Muslim candidates, rather voted for any candidate who appeared better or stronger.

This Parliament will have one of the LOWEST number of Muslims elected ever. Just 24, compared to 30, 35 or even 40 earlier. This is despite the fact that after delimitation there were many more seats with high Muslim population. Several Muslim dominated seats that were reserved for SCs and STs had been taken out of the reserved category.

Azamgarh constituency doesn't have a large Muslim population. The small towns do have it though. However, whenever there is polarisation, BJP has advantage. Like in Pilibhit but its adjoining seats were lost by BJP.

Jaya Prada irritates many outside Rampur for dancing to the tunes of Amar Singh but the truth is that she has spent money and resources in Rampur unlike Noor Bano, who is not liked any more. Also, there is a feeling in constituencies that are away from metros that 'she has come from that far to fight from here, we have to ensure her victory'. Azam Khan's soap opera kind acts didn't make him popular.

Sandeep bhhai @ Very well said.

HDKW: Thank you so much :)

JP Joshi @ Analysts and psephologits were again wide off mark, and still don't accept that none of them had failed to see such a mandate coming.

Captain Johanan @ You have a point. All the time basing pseudo-secularism is basically wrong strategy. If someone has to believe them, they will believe, the rest will get irritated.

Anonymous said...

What has Congress done for the secularism? If distributing lollipops to Muslims, OBCs and Dalis is secularism, we are better off being communal. On top of this, INC is thoroughly corrupt. The good thing is that Rahul Gandhi seems to be a very good face for Indian politics - honest, humble and committed. NDA government waqs better than the UPA one in every respect. BJP has tremendous support (including mine!!) but is lost because they had a muddled message to the electorate in contrast to the 'Aam Aadmi' crap of INC. This is more of NDA's loss than UPA's victory.

rv said...

advani is an irritating ass...

Opinionated Indian said...

Today Shobha de wrote in her blog that we are back to dynasty rule. This country with billions of population cant produce a strong leader who is non-gandhian who can unite masses. Are we seeking familiarity here? Are we scared to try and give chance to someone else? Rahul Gandhi will be PM in another decade.

Young ones like Sachin Pilot should become face of UPA and not this forced guy called Rahul Gandhi. There is also conspiracy that how come all dynamic leaders in congress get killed in plane crashes.

Amitabh said...

Loss of one election is not the certification of some being communal and secular. The pseudo-secular congress was down to 112 seats in 90ties despite their start campaigner “Sonia Gandhi”.

If you analyze thoroughly, today’s voter has voted for development and the performance of the state govt. See Gujarat, Delhi, Bihar and any other state all the state govt. has performed well.

What I feel the main reason for the loss of BJP is the Varun’s incident. It was ill-time and un-called. All the development issue was high jacked by Varun and media got an issue to sensitize. Muslims are the part of Indian democracy and you should not ignore them. BJP should now try to reach Indian Muslims and change its image in minority community. Lots of image, BJP has, is due to lack of media management. Look at congress, Laloo Yadav and SP all of them have never done any good to minority community still they are the only so called protector of minority. The best example I can give is the Sachar committee report on Gujarat and West Bangal.

B said...

I find this blog worth reading. I also write a blog - OneIndia - which contains thoughts on India, BJP, third front, poverty, etc.. which offers a different point of view. Here is the url: http://india15august.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

muslims are very opportunists. you vote for congress to get undue advantage over hindu.

muslims are most non-secular. just think over it and then comment on bjp.

Anser Azim said...

Amitabh's modest post is very welcome and civilized. Thanks for recognising in part that the constitution of India also belongs to the minorities. But the down side of the elections was that religion, cast, creed divisive ideologies were the core election issues not the roti,kapra aur makan and education for all. Not how the issue of 450 million Indians on less than a dollar will be tackled in the future etc??

Anonymous said...

Bloggers sympathetic to Hindutva concept should note that India is a vast country with diverse natural regions and natural vegetation.The diversity gives it the form of a Garden with flowers of different hue and aroma!Everyone appreciates the "unity in diversity!" For a moment, imagine the park has only the same type of cactii will not be boring?
hence, the spirit ruling India for millenia will not tolerate divisive forces gain an upper hand!

Amitabh said...

Sympathizing with Hindutva ideology doesn’t mean you are communal. Hindutva is not a religion it is “How you live your life”. Everyone in the world ever born is a live their part of Hindutva. I would request you all not to go with any definition made by any tom-dick. Modern politicians have attempted to play down the racial and anti-Muslim aspects of Hindutva, stressing the inclusiveness of the Indian identity.

Here are the few characteristic of Hindutva:-

Central concepts
Integral Humanism
Cultural Nationalism
Social Justice
Uniform Civil Code
Anyone having all these characteristic will be called as “follower of Hindutva”

Vijay Padiyar said...

Nice article. Read my opinion on UPA's victory. Some of my points are similar to yours: http://www.vijaypadiyar.in/blogs/2009/05/upa-won-due-to-nda-no-decent.html


Vijay Padiyar