Thursday, February 18, 2021

Politicians who buck anti-incumbency even after successive terms: Leaders, CMs who know the trick, leave no other choice for voters

Shams Ur Rehman Alavi

Disenchantment with a ruling party can come easily. 

After all, how many citizens can feel that they are in a state of bliss, for a long time. 

All the citizens can't get a job or even a constant rise in their personal earning.

Hence the anger with the regime is always likely. Besides, what else you get from state governments? 

How many promises are met with or personally do most citizens get any direct benefits! Within states, voters are bound to get upset after sometime. Traditional wisdom says that anti-incumbency factor should come on its own. 


Trick is to beat it despite doing nothing, survive & win again.

For every government, this is the key. How to ensure that popular sentiment doesn't go against it. How the expectation level gets so so low that without even doing something really constructive, people remain happy or at least feel that it's better than the rest. 

*Defaming opposition, so that people never ever consider them an option, better if they hate the other parties. Also, dividing society, making a few classes as 'enemy' for the rest. And ensuring that citizens vote on the belief that by voting them, they will remain dominant & powerful. 

Clever identity politics, even if it doesn't get the voter anything real in return. But the perception, the feel, matter. So to manage, Governments do certain things. Generally, there should be tremendous incumbency after a term, but see how CMs continue to beat, remain popular term after term. 

They do some clever things, very smartly. Of course, along with 'managing' media within State, very well. The success in this 'art of narrative' along with PR blitz and that media is reined in. The aim is to keep the narrative in control.

Credit is due to leaders who keep winning term after term, their love affair with the electorate continues. Of course, opposition has to take the blame, as it is not able to even emerge as a strong option. But for this too, the ruling party leader, cadre and supporting organisation's nonstop efforts, are the reason.

In the end, one must still marvel at the citizens who can believe that there is no option in sight & no better standards or scope of more competent, visionary politicians coming up to raise the bar and also the expectations. After all, it's said that the people deserve the leaders whom they elect!

As far as Madhya Pradesh is concerned, even after three terms BJP lost barely by a whisker. Despite Goa fiasco and Karnataka, Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath weren't alert, didn't even try to get support of independents of third party legislators, for an entire year, until the legislators realised that the Congress was taking them for granted. 

So that was really careless for Congress, Scindia switched and they lost the government. Those who have killer instinct or snatch power, do it. Others can cry foul, as they too had opportunities in the past but didn't grab or were soft, when the need was to play game by the changed rules. Ultimately, it's about the politicians we have around, the 'system' and the voters.