Ad Here  
April
May
June
July
August
September
 
 
Tax evaders’ get out of Jail-Free Card Research for survival... 1800 parties registered with EC – Less than 60 contest elections Much ado about nothing Indian GST – Between extremes… Ganesh’s mantras Outward ho Why (not) abolish? Jobs - Lost, Changed or Gained MS Installed Much can be done by us Economy through the month CAD and the emergency thereof Welcome move to widen the tax net… Chennai Airport-Ready for a rapid take off... PC please be our Santa Why throw baby with bath water? Kudos to GIM organisers... Little surplus after salaries, subsidies and debt servicing Focus on agriculture and human resources Star of the South Make way for Make in India... Deming awardees galore! Cleansing Indian retail Sowing seeds of hope Healthy finances of the Chennai Corporation The Great Fall Pool energy prices A dual GST that will protect prosperous states Low profile moves A tale of two Bihar babus What the big B should offer? Reform this licence to…kill Welcome Measures. Work for 10X Change Policy Makers Breaking news or breaking credibility? You too T M Krishna? Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation Sustainably developing manufacturing sector… Well-administered State A gratifying record Public investments and welfare will surge Truce at Kasturi Buildings A historic indirect tax reform Need for radical RBI reform South India’s 100 most valuable companies Weaving wealth of western Tamil Nadu A blueprint for the future If not Tamil Nadu, where else? Welcome rains for damaged roads... How will it PAN OUT TN - so much to offer... The deluge and the several kindly souls CSR, tech revolution and bank crisis In the horns of a dilemma INDIA keeps its date with destiny Strategic planning the missing link Wanted: decentralised financial system Focus on southern TN... A Fine division of responsibilities Need plan over the long term planning Trail-blazing Tamil Nadu Babes In the wood-RBI North block has little clue to curb inflation An eventful week with VVIPs of Delhi It’s raining funds for states. Really? An eco-friendly commute in Mysuru Skewed Economic Zones? Land, land everywhere, but... Industry can’t get it from Mars, yet Better relations with UK... Tryst with GST Oh my GOLD No groundnuts in groundnut oil! After all, customer is the king Two welcome measures from the chief minister... Technology and economic development should be linked BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms Sardar Sarovar – the seventy year itch Rail-road Rajaraman They add lustre to Padma Awards Miles to go... When the examiner cheated...
 
BJP can now hasten its thrust for reforms
The spectacular victories of BJP in the UP and the Uttarakhand elections surpassed the most optimistic of predictions. After the rout in Delhi and Bihar, this victory is a huge morale booster for the party.

The battering ram that stunned the opposition

The recent round of state elections was keenly watched by political observers as well as industry leaders. For one, it was held just after the Modi government had completed half of its five year term and the results are to indicate the citizens’ reaction to government policies. 

The BJP received a jolt earlier when it suffered a big defeat in the Bihar elections in 2015, when the RLD, JDU and Congress campaigned together. It was feared that a loss in UP would force Modi  to adopt populist measures and forsake needed reforms in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Apart from the fear of losing UP, there was also the concern over BJP’s vote falling well below 30 per cent. Along with this, was the additional worry over the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) emerging the numero uno party in Punjab. 

 

The simple arithmetic...     

In Indian democracy, it has always been the case that when all major players, other than the dominant one ganged up together, they win. This happened in Bihar in 2015. The support for BJP and Modi in the state did not go down in 2015 from its high level in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.  But the opposition had united, and it won. This was a golden formula. The question was:  could it be repeated in UP? 

Early in the year it was believed that Mayawati’s BSP may bounce back and be at the forefront. As elections came closer, it seemed that Akhilesh Yadav’s SP was the favoured party. The anti-incumbency factor was passed off to uncle Shivpal Yadav who along with dad Mulayam broke from Akhilesh; sitting CM Akhilesh was portrayed as a good administrator whose hands were tied. Thus voters were urged to give this young and sincere person another chance to deliver! Demonetisation and the numerous stories on its ill effects seemed to convey that this alone would sink the BJP’s ship.

While a Bihar - style Mahagathbandan of all major players opposed to BJP was going to be very difficult due to the historical animosity between SP and BSP, coming together of the Congress and SP did indicate a possibility of their attaining pole position. 

As the polling day came closer, the BJP seemed to be making a comeback. Still stock Market players seemed to have reconciled to BJP losing UP. Most exit polls also predicted a hung assembly.

Thus the results came as a surprise to everyone, presumably also to BJP. The resounding victory in terms of seats (325 for BJP and allies out of 403) as well as about 40 per cent vote share for BJP was remarkable. It showed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s capability to connect with the masses and take them along even after a drastic decision on demonetisation.

Perhaps, BJP has changed the caste politics of the cow belt for ever. The resounding victory also means that in the next round of Rajya Sabha elections, the balance would shift towards NDA and the BJP will be in a much better position to elect a person of its choice as President when Pranab Mukherjee’s term ends. 

Now people can expect more fundamental, meaningful reforms. 

- Dr Rajeeva Karandikar

The author is Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute


The victories will give Modi and the BJP  an improved presence in the Rajya Sabha in 2018 where the opposition parties have been stalling bills. The advent of regional parties and their strident voices have been thwarting efforts on cooperative federalism. Of immediate importance is the clout gained by BJP in selecting a President and a Vice-President of its choice. 

 

High stakes...

Modi and Shah effectively  invested their energies in the campaign. The large crowds Modi addressed with such fine oratorical flourish, the long and evocative speeches he made faulting the incumbent government of Akhilesh Yadav were a repeat of his energetic campaign in 2014. The finale was witnessed at Varanasi: Modi camped in the temple city for three days;  the marathon road shows and large public meetings contributed to BJP winning all the eight assembly constituencies of Modi’s Varanasi. 

Amit Shah planned the strategy months ahead; the disciplined and extensive network of RSS, honed the arithmetic constituency-wise. While Modi concentrated on select towns and cities, Shah covered every district of this vast state. 

 

Hopes on lifting UP out of the BIMARU status

Mulayam Singh and Mayawati have been effectively utilising the caste calculus for long. Congress, desperate to regain a share of its past strengths in UP, joined as a junior partner of Samajwadi Party.  There were expectations of support from Muslims (who formed 19 per cent of the population) and the backward classes. Mayawati, likewise, banked on the voting strengths of Dalits and Muslims. In contrast, BJP focused on development  and pointed to the several welfare schemes introduced by the Centre – like gas connections, several women-oriented welfare schemes, housing, etc. It contrasted the weak economic growth of UP with not just Gujarat but the strident progress made by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan that have been Bimaru companions. 

The task of managing this large state which accounts for nearly a sixth of the nation’s population, is daunting. Akhilesh did focus on infrastructure; BJP can be expected to sharpen this focus. Within UP the western region has been enjoying a much greater degree of prosperity. Agriculture, industry and services growth in this region, have been far higher than in Eastern UP. Despite the historical fame of Allahabad and Varanasi for education, Noida has a much stronger cluster of educational institutions. 

 

Way forward...

UP continues to be the largest producer of food- grains and sugar. BJP can be expected to focus on building on this strength through food processing industries. The Urja Ganga project will help the state catch up with the western parts on the use of natural gas. Fully conscious of the value of UP’s 80 seats for Lok Sabha in the 2019 elections, the Centre will provide a sharp focus on economic development through a slew of large public sector investments. BJP’s victory promises this and thus should be welcome. Equally welcome is the success in weaning control from regional parties that have been mostly concerned with narrow local issues. 

Demonetisation has been the boldest and the riskiest measure taken by the Central government so far. Assured of its approval by the masses, the Modi government can go ahead with more such reforms. Labour reforms, the impasse brought about by the Land Acquisition Act and more relentless assault on black money are areas that deserve the attention of Narendra Modi.  – SV

Author :
Reported On :
Sector :
Shoulder :
RELATED NEWS
ABOUT IE
IE, the business magazine from south was launched in 1968 and pioneered business journalism in south. Through the 45 years IE has been focusing on well-presented and well-researched articles. When giants in the industry stumbled to keep pace with the digital revolution, IE stayed affixed embracing technology.
Read more
 
PRIVACY POLICY
Economist Communications Ltd is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.
Read more
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
You agree that your use of this Website and the purchase of the magazine will be governed by these terms and conditions.
Read more
 
CONTACT US
S-15, Industrial Estate,
Guindy,
Chennai - 600 032.
PHONE: +91 44 22501236
EMAIL: indecom1968@gmail.com