Verdict 2009: India General Elections

India has made its choice and results are out. It was not just an electoral exercise, but an event of such a magnitude that will never be seen in the world. As a single party, Congress has gained 38% of the 543 seats, which is a big achievement and it is a 45% gain over the 145 seats it won last time. This shows very good recovery by Congress against its single big contender BJP. The 61 seats won by Congress over its last year’s tally of 145 have been lost by BJP, LEFT, SP & RJD. This shows a lateral shift in the judgment of people of India while voting to build the Central Government.
The Lok Sabha elections have spelt doom for 332 political parties which failed to open their account. A total of 1052 parties including 369 recognized parties (7 national parties), had fielded candidates in this election.

These numbers showing where the various alliances stand on the political number game. The election results have proved that for forming a government single party majority does not matter anymore (mind you it is very much important if we are talking about meeting the magic number 272), because the alliance as a whole will take all the decisions. This shows a change in people’s perspective and may be if this is some indication that we are moving towards a bipolar kind of equation in the center; one alliance in the ruling seat and another alliance in the opposition seat, serving their whole 5 year term. This will help them focus upon real issues of governance rather than worrying about their chairs.

As an alliance UPA has gained support. This shows that Indian population has shown confidence on its policies and also supports its stance on national matters. Dr. Manmohan Singh as PM seems to have impressed the nation. The way UPA handled the economic crisis scenario has given people confidence in it and so UPA has been bestowed with power in order to continue on its policies. May be people have taken their time to understand that voting for the other parties at the national level, who at times give the mirage of forming a 3rd and 4th front and who have no experience or specific agenda or even a single opinion amongst the constituent parties on national matters, doesn’t make much sense, and it’s time for them to take a walk.

This End has a Start

India’s jumbo election has come to an end and people’s verdict has set the beginning of a stable, unifying government in the world’s largest democracy. Congress’s tally highlights the biggest win by any party in last 18 years.  The UPA is back, fuelling hopes that the long-awaited surge in reforms may finally take place, helping the economy rebound from the slowdown. Indian corporate has also responded in positive tone. “This is good for India and good for the world,” said Rahul Bajaj, chairman of Bajaj Auto Ltd. TC, DMK and NCP are the main allies this time but their numbers isn’t great enough to create any pain.

The very first challenge for the new government is to revive falling growth and make it more inclusive. Government should understand that inclusive growth does not just mean farm loan waiver or the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. These schemes throw money at the poor and destitute without actually helping them climb up the economic ladder. True inclusive development would mean that even the poorest Indians get a chance to move into the modern, high-productivity sectors. India’s expenditure in social sector like Education and Healthcare is very low.

Government should invest in education and also do selective privatization so that the poor acquire the skills needed in modern jobs. Unless there is massive employment generation, the poverty cannot be tackled. We have done detailed analysis of each sector in the sections to follow.

Indian electorate has shown once again that they opt for moderation and balance, especially in troubled times. Will the end of political uncertainty be the beginning of India’s century? History has shown us that whenever the Congress enjoys unbridled power; its factions tend to get arbitrary and unilateral. If we take their past achievements as an indication to future, then we could expect another five years of lackluster management. The parties in the government must understand that ours is a largest functioning democracy and people vote for the betterment of the country. If they don’t perform to people’s expectations, they will perish as this is not going to be the last general elections.

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