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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Hisar Connection--Team Anna Claims Victory!

Article first published as The Hisar Connection--Team Anna Claims Victory! on Technorati.

The suspense drama over the Hisar by-election has finally ended. Kuldeep Bishnoi of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) supported by the country’s main opposition, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), won the three-cornered contest.

Bishnoi won only by a narrow margin over the nearest rival Ajay Chautala of the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). The congress candidate came as the distant third—almost the same scenario of 2009 general elections.

The irrepressible Team Anna member, Arvind Kejriwal, has already claimed victory and sent out a message to the ruling coalition led by Congress that ‘the result is a lesson to learn from’. But the winning candidate dismisses Team Anna’s campaign as ‘no impact’! The Congress too writes off any Anna effect as it never won the seat since 2004.

Now, Bishnoi is the son of Bhajan Lal, a former Chief Minister of Haryana, who won this seat in 2009 and it became vacant on his death subsequently. Chautala is also a son of another former Chief Minister of the state and the fight was basically between these two. The only difference between them could be that the Chautala rule had more records of corruption cases!

The real twist for Bishnoi came from the last minute BJP support and exactly here the Anna effect could be palpable, because the BJP has been reaping the maximum mileage out of Team Anna’s anti-Congress or rather anti-Corruption campaign. Thanks to the huge scams unearthed during last two years the Congress has come to be literally identified with corruption. And Congress being in the ruling coalition or the government is naturally the only target. Corruption is common to most political parties, but only the party in power becomes the big target.

Kejriwal is quick to clarify that Team Anna opposed the Congress candidate only and did not support the other candidates. But once you dabble in politics things get really complex.

Since Anna Hazare in now ‘silent’ and his team is in a critical transition, the final word on the new political identity of Team Anna cannot be delivered as yet. Team Anna must realize their responsibilities better, because the millions supporting a noble cause may be easily misguided by petty politicking and insincere words.

In another by-poll in Anna’s home state of Maharashtra a sure-shot candidate jointly supported by the Congress was defeated by the BJP, though by the narrowest of margins. The significant fact is that the said candidate was the wife of the earlier candidate belonging of course to a different party who expired recently. Now, this could the real impact of the Anna wave.

But finally, what matters is what a political party does after being voted into power!
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