Looks bad? Isn't it? It took me exactly 48 hours to figure out that this 'has' happened and probably 'why' this has happened.
This is not a vote for the UPA. This is a vote for the Congress, overwhelmingly. All across the country urban or rural, there has been a wave towards the congress. And so strong has been this wave, riding on socialist and populist measures of the UPA regime, that it has been able to overcome the non-performance of the Manmohan Singh govt.
Rahul Gandhi's positioning has been very clear. We are pro-poor whereas the NDA is the party of stock brokers and the rich(Yep he actually said that) which is ironical. While the NREGA, reservations in higher education, Loan waiver took care of the rural voter(unemployed youth as well as farmers), the Jyotiradityas, Sachin Pilots, Milind Deoras and Sandeep Dikshits ensured that the urban voter connects with them. If you don't agree with me then kindly check out the margin of victories in Delhi and Mumbai of Congress candidates(a fact also mentioned by Swapan Dasgupta). So a combination of youth with a heavy dose of socialism did it for the Congress.
About the BJP, well what to say. Varun Gandhi, 'weak' PM, not supporting the nuclear deal and some other factors like MNS were the main reasons I feel. The congress had supported the BJP in passing many bills(including private sector insurance) during 98-2004. But the way the BJP including Advani behaved in the nuclear deal was disgusting. Dunno about Modi. Even if he had any effect, the congress wave was too strong for him to withstand. He could hardly manage to hold on to his own seats in Gujarat.
Will they learn their lessons? I don't think so. Last I heard, M M Joshi was ready to take over any responsibility given by the party.(sic)
And now for the best part! Third grade politicians with ten to thirty MPs wanting to be PM have been resoundingly KICKED. So no Maya, no Mulayam, no Amar Singh(Sunil Bharti Mittal must be relieved), no Karat, no Yechury, no Pawar. Which means no statues, no ban on english, no moneymaking, no arm twisting, no dhamki-dena. For all these factors itself, this election has been worth it.
Lessons to learn from this election
- Youth is the key
- Negativity will not help
- Socialism is back
- Charisma is essential
Some other great columns on this verdict