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Saturday, May 17, 2014

General Elections-2014: Overwhelming Public Mandate For A New Government!



Perhaps only one of those exit polls ventured out giving around 340 Lok Sabha seats for the BJP led NDA and a number in excess of simple majority for BJP on its own. In the most emphatic mandate since 1984 that exit poll proved to be the most accurate one. On the counting day yesterday that saw India glued to television sets, almost empty streets and offices and live-wire packed newsrooms Indian citizens proved why democracy is still the raging spirit in this country. They did not mince words or showed any waywardness. They rejected the incumbent government and brought in a new government in all democratic glory. All small political parties including Arvind Kejriwal’s much talked about AAP could not even give a fight. It was a clear choice for BJP alliance rejecting the Congress alliance. Only in states like Tamil Nadu and West Bengal the regional parties continued to hold sway with Jayalalitha and Mamata Bannerji sweeping the polls promising strong opposition groups in the Indian Parliament. However, they are denied like all other power mongers waiting for a situation where BJP would need support to achieve the magic number of 272 in a 543-member Lok Sabha of having any horse-trading or manipulative hands in the formation of the new government. The Congress party got reduced to its worst ever performance since independence with a paltry 44 seats while the UPA got just 60, unable even to sit on the opposition effectively.


After noon yesterday trends started revealing the inkling of an overwhelming victory for the BJP under the aggressive leadership of Narendra Modi—the next Prime Minister in the new government to be formed shortly. The BJP led alliance, NDA, cruised to 336 seats while BJP got 282 technically allowing it to form a government on its own. If you leave out Gujarat as Modi’s state then you must take note of the spectacular performances of BJP in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan and of the BJP led alliance in Maharashtra.  Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra do stand out, because in the former the BJP overcame the Mulayam Singh Yadav led Samajwadi Party and the Mayawati led BSP capturing 73 of the 80 seats and in the latter in its alliance with Shiv Sena, Republican Party of India and farmers’ political parties BJP scripted the incredible defeats of some of the most dominant Congress and NCP leaders of Maharashtra including central and state cabinet ministers. BJP got 23, Shiv Sena 18 and Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghtana 1, thus capturing 42 of total 48 seats. It has been a significant comeback for Shiv Sena that had been sort of languishing after the demise of its father figure Balasaheb Thackeray and due to leadership issues and continuous attacks by its breakaway party Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Shiv Sena is now rejuvenated and set for the potent future with Assembly Elections due in October this year in Maharashtra. The coming Assembly Elections will be the biggest challenge for the staggering ruling combine led by Congress.

And of course, Mumbai. As you know Mumbai hit its second half-century in 25 years this General Elections when it voted in excess of fifty percent. That was supposed to be a wave and we explained it in details for you recently. Indeed, it was such a wave that the saffron alliance (BJP-Shiv Sena) swept the city winning all six seats. Standing, outstanding and traditional candidates just lost and lost by huge margins—another trend visible nationally as BJP or its partner parties won with margins of hundred thousand or more. The all-time record of the biggest win margin was made by none other than the next Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi when he defeated his Congress rival by over 5,70,000 votes in his home state Gujarat.

With the new government in place it will be hardly easy for BJP and partners to rule India. They have to perform on issues like corruption, inflation, economic policies, foreign policy relating mainly to Pakistan and so on. In the role of the national opposition BJP had been attacking, harassing, cornering the ruling coalition and stalling Parliament most of the time. Then there is the ‘fear factor’ associated with the BJP or Modi Government. They will also have to overcome the fears of the minorities who are suspicious of their religiously aggressive Hindutva, communality and polarization. Would-be Prime Minister Narendra Modi must take all these into account and must continue to respect peoples’ overwhelming faith in his leadership.Today Modi flew to New Delhi to attend BJP's Parliamentary Board meeting. Then he visited his second constituency Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh where he defeated Arvind Kejriwal by a huge margin.

President Obama talked to Modi over phone inviting him to visit the US. Many other countries including France expressed willingness to associate with the new Indian government closely. International media gave wide coverage to BJP and Modi’s thumping victory.  Meanwhile the outgoing Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has tendered his resignation to the President of India today after giving his farewell speech. The Parliamentary Party of the BJP is going to meet in the capital on Tuesday, the 20th of May to formally elect Narendra Modi as their leader and the next Prime Minister of India.
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