This has reference to the editorial “Hat-trick of triumphs” (Oct. 23). It is true that the Congress is euphoric about its performance in the elections as it has retained the three State governments but with some pinpricks. In spite of the rising prices of essential commodities, farmers’ suicides, terrorism and other problems, people have chosen the Congress again to head the governments. With the opposition parties going in different tracks and the BJP in a state of chaos, the voters had no alternative but to choose the Congress. Whatever the reason for the Opposition’s downfall, now it is for the Congress to rise to the expectations of the people and fulfil the promises given to them.
Brave hopes and braver words have failed the BJP. Simply put, the party has failed to enthuse the voters. This is more a comment on the party’s leadership than on its agenda of governance which, tragically, appears increasingly immaterial. It badly needs a leadership change if it has to make an honest bid to win back public trust.
The Maharashtra Navanirman Sena has yet again proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the saffron parties by indirectly helping the Congress-NCP combine to shore up its tally to form a government in Maharashtra. Though the MNS won 13 seats, it has acted as spoil sport by eating into the traditional vote base of the saffron parties. It is surprising that despite the anti-incumbency factor the United Front was able to reach the magic figure. Is it not time the Opposition realised that united they stand and divided they fall?
Maybe, it is time to rejoice for the Congressmen after the Congress 3 - rest 0 in the Assembly elections, but there is a strong need to look at things on a long-term perspective. In Maharashtra, it has the weak opposition to thank for being third time lucky. Now it has to really work hard on development issues, the plank on which it won the Lok Sabha elections wooing the voters. The Congress dominance seems obvious when contrasted with the BJP’s continued decline. This is the second time since 2004 that the BJP and its partner, Shiv Sena, have failed to capitalise on the not-so-remarkable performance of the Congress-NCP government in Maharashtra. Instead of accepting defeat gracefully, they are crying foul that the electronic voting machines were rigged.
The elections strongly demonstrate one thing: the Congress should not take these victories for granted.
The MNS’s victory shows a strong manifestation of divisive political trends in the Maharashtra vote. It further shows that hatred and bigotry are the modus operandi to gain ground.
Shahid Ali Khan,
The Congress seems to have kept its winning momentum, election after election. On the other hand, the BJP is roaming around without any clue on how to outperform its rivals. An inefficient leadership cost the BJP dear in every poll starting from the Lok Sabha elections. It is time the party looked for a young, visionary leader.
S. Lakshmi Narayanan,
The emergence of the MNS in Maharashtra is disheartening. It will definitely encourage regionalism and parochialism. The people of Maharashtra should have kept such elements that play upon the sentiments of the people at arm’s length.
The Congress victory has been largely due to Sonia Gandhi’s political skill. Conceding fewer seats than actually demanded, the NCP has decided to go along with the Congress. The view of some in the Congress that the party, following the U.P. model, should go alone in the elections in Maharashtra, was not acceptable to Ms Gandhi. Allowing the decision by Om Prakash Chautala to go it alone has yielded good dividend for the Congress in Haryana. The two-thirds majority secured by the Congress in Arunachal sends out a clear message to all concerned. In short, the poll results indicate the effective leadership being provided by Ms Gandhi.
The BJP’s dream of annihilating the Congress and writing its ‘obituary’ of the ‘old party’ has boomeranged on itself. The three consecutive defeats in the Maharashtra is a repeat of the BJP’s performance in the Lok Sabha polls last year. While the success of the Congress is not ‘noteworthy,’ the BJP’s lacklustre performance was expected since there was neither the “Pramod Mahajan’ effect nor ‘an attractive alternative offer’ for the voters to choose from. Both Vajpayee and Advani had glamour and power of speech, which could turn ‘anger’ into votes. But the present breed of BJP leadership lacks originality and is only interested in a ‘jugglery of words’ to assassinate the personal character of the Congress leadership. The enlightened voters expect someone who understands their problems. The shock administered to both the Congress and the BJP shows that the people cannot be fooled all the time.
The MNS victory in Maharashtra does not augur well for the country especially to non-Maharashtrians working and settled in Mumbai and other prominent cities of Maharashta. . The 13 Assembly seats Raj Thackeray added to his kitty in the election will definitely embolden him to vigorously pursue his dangerous politics. The Secular parties must counter this.
Capt. T.Raju (retd.),