by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Super Tuesday is crucial for India

The Super Tuesday I’m talking about is not the US one, but the 5 state elections in India, on which the votes are to be tallied on Tuesday.

Every news channel is fixated on the biggest of the 5 states, the Uttar Pradesh and who will form the government, the permutations and combinations and whether the Rahul Gandhi factor is discernable or not.
And personally my gut feeling is that everyone has missed the obvious, at least which is obvious to me.  If this is an instance of letting the cat out of the bag, so be it.

Whatever the outcome of UP elections and however good (or bad) is results for the National ruling party is, the UP was just a testing ground.  On whether RG and his sister can carry on the rigorous pace and mobilise the party.  I feel that they were looking at whether the party can be energized, whether hard work pays off and there is an upsurge.  Which I think there has been and which will be proved (or otherwise) on Super Tuesday.

But whatever the outcome, whether the Congress wins 40 seats or 80 seats, the political waters have flown much above, very much above the grasp of media and the opposition parties.

The critical factor on Super Tuesday is whether the Congress will win in Punjab and Uthrakhand.  If they wrest those 2 states from the present opposition ruled party/alliance, then I am afraid we are in for a very quick mid-term General Elections.

There are multitude of reasons:
  • the allies like Mamta Banerjee are getting more vociferous and obstinate, which will worsen during the next 2 years,
  • the allies are forging temporary truce and cause with other leaders like Nitish Kumar of Bihar, Jayalaliltha of TN, Navin Patnaik of Orissa (Odisha), and others,
  • the principal National opposition, the BJP especially if they lose Punjab and Uthrakhand will be vulnerable, even in their new found southern stronghold of Karnataka, with the mining scam, porngate and Yeddiyurappa rebellion,
  • the opposition in Andhra Pradesh is in tatters, and with the Courts frowning on the mining mafia, it is bound to get worse for the son of former CM YSR,
  • not for nothing are the Congress party leaders even now reinstating that if they don’t get majority in UP legislature (?), they would sit in opposition and *not* support any one else,
  • the Communist parties are still to recover from the shell shock of losing their last democratic frontier of West Bengal,
  • the present Mamata Banerjee administration is shaken with repeated rape cases and infant morality, which has not been handled well,
  • the economy is on the downturn, and can only expect to sink further in the coming year or two,  and the impacts which are normally felt an year or two down the line will be a great handicap in 2014,
  • the neighbourhood is quiet, except for some mischief in Maldives, especially on the Pakistan front, where they are beseeched with their own internal problems, and which means less mischief or peace in India,
  • even Kashmir of late has been quiet and Nepal seems to have settled down for a bit, with Bangladesh at its best behaviour in decades,
  • the US is in election mode and would be less prone to interfere in happenings here and more important would like to keep peace in the Middle-East, which means very less chance of Israel-Iran conflict,
  • while 2 years down the line, US might well be in a position to sit back, if not outright, encourage military activism by Israel, and which would complicate matters at home,
  • my Chief Minister, Jayalalitha of TN, is at her most vulnerable now, with electricity shortage and ongoing alleged wealth accumulation case.  Her unwillingness to sort out the Koodangulam issue and care-not attitude to former allies is churning the political waters.  2 years down the line, she might well be unbeatable in the General Elections, of which she had made her intentions clear.
So, for all these reasons, Punjab and Uttarakhand elections are the ones to watch.  If the Congress swings them, you watch my words and remember that your read them here first.  We might yet have a June-July mid-term General Elections.

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