Elections 2009: India – An Amazing democracy!

Leading up to the elections, I had put together a set of predictions – some from political pundits and some mine. Many were wrong! Lets talk about what where our guesses went right and wrong.

1. No Party or Coalition will get a majority in Parliament – Right

2. UPA (the present Cong led) Government will not get a majority – Right

3. UPA will decline in numbers and NDA will increase its numbers vis a vis 2004. – Very wrong

4. UPA constituents like RJD, Samajwadi Party and DMK are all expected to lose seats and decline significantly from their 2004 position in Parliament. – Right for RJD, SP and wrong about DMK

5. Left is going to lose significantly vis a vis their 2004 position as well. – Right

6. The performances of the two National parties BJP and Congress are currently unclear. Consensus currently is that BJP will improve its 2004 position and Congress fate will be decided its performance in key states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh. – Wrong about the BJP and Congress performance in AP, Rajasthan, UP did put Cong on top

7. There will be winners and losers in this election. Winners will significantly improve their position and losers will significantly decline – The winners in this election will be JD(U) (Nitish Kumar), AIADMK (Jayalalitha), TDP (Naidu), PRP (Chiranjeevi) – The Big losers will be RJD ,SP, DMK and the Left. – Right about all except TDP, PRP and DMK fates. BJP is another loser.

8. The political dynamics of UP will be rewritten – where for the first time after many many years, the hold of the SP and BSP will be broken and the two National parties BJP and INC may win the majority of the seats in UP! – Wrong

9. The fate of YSR (Y Rajshekar Reddy) CM Andhra Pradesh and Naveen Patnaik , CM Orissa will be decided during these elections. Congress will lose the state elections in Andhra Pradesh and Chiranjeevi will play an important role in government formation in AP. – Wrong- Cong gets clear majority in AP.

10. BJD (Naveen Patnaik) may not win a majority in Orissa and may be faced with needing support from either Congress or BJP to form a government. The situation here will decide the BJDs position vis a vis supporting UPA or NDA in the center.– Wrong- BJD gets clear majority in Orissa.

11. Since the wheeling and dealing will depend a lot on which party is invited to form the government by the President, we can expect considerable to-ing and fro-ing and use/mis-use of Presidential discretion on whether the Single largest Party should be invited to form a government or the largest pre-poll Alliance! (This assumes that the two will be different political formations!) – Completely wrong. Cong is single largest party by far. No ambiguity here.!

12. So who will be Prime Minister? That question has many possible answers currently…stay tuned and good luck to all of us ! – Answer is clear – Manmohan Singh!

There will be many theories and analysis on the performance of the losers in this election, especially about the shocking performance of BJP and the strong performance of the Congress in many parts of India! More than anything, it’s clear that the people of India have voted clearly and thoughtfully and put paid to various theories of a hung and confused mandate. The biggest good news is that this mandate is clearly a far more solid and stable one that the 2004 one. The Congress party requires less coalition partners. This puts the pressure on the Government to deliver without the recourse to excuses of coalition partners which was the excuse of choice for the previous government!

This marks the last of my election blogs. Thanks to all for participating and sharing your views. My next set of blogs will focus on Governance and Government Performance!


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