That the election results of nine State Assemblies that went to the polls in 2013 cannot be deemed a semi-final and there is no Narendra Modi wave, has been eloquently portrayed by N. Ram in the article “The not-quite ‘semi-final’ and what it portends” (Dec. 9). The next government may indeed be formed by triumphant regional parties with outside support from the Congress and the Left, even if the BJP emerges the single largest party in 2014. The editorial, “The rout of the Congress,” also reinforces the importance of regional parties. But I do not agree that there is “relatively corruption-free governance in Gujarat,” considering the Modi government’s resistance to the appointment of a Lok Ayukta for years.

R. Elangovan, Chennai

We must thank Mr. Ram for an objective analysis. The likely scenario does seem to be that of the Left and regional parties (without Mamata Banerjee’s TMC) winning 150 seats in the Lok Sabha election and coming to power with the support of the Congress which may garner about 140 (+ or -15) seats. For the BJP to come to power; it will have to not only better the Congress’ tally but win 200 seats, which appears to be a pipe dream, Modi or no-Modi wave. However, we cannot rule out the possibility of Rahul Gandhi’s INC refurbishing itself on the aam aadmi plank between now and 2014, and surprising everyone.

A.D. Vasudorairaj, Bangalore

Mr. Ram’s article was a clinical analysis of the election results and their consequences in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. Both the major national parties — the BJP and the Congress — should do some introspection, re-strategise their moves and rethink their agendas if they want to emerge with a clear majority in the all-important 2014 election. The nation can ill-afford an unstable government at the Centre in the coming years.

Rekha Chari Sairaman, Chennai

The powerful ‘semi-final’ mandate against the Congress has important lessons for our political parties. Clearly, the modern Indian voter wants good governance and meaningful development. The Congress should have the humility to understand that it no longer enjoys the support of the majority. It should, therefore, put on hold its bombastic big-ticket election-oriented schemes like the Food Security Bill and Aadhaar, which place the entire economy under strain.

B. Vinod Kumar, Bangalore

True, the Assembly elections cannot be viewed as a rehearsal for the general election. It is the local leaders who play a larger role in shaping voters’ choice in the Assembly polls. Mr. Modi’s charm worked well but it was confined to the younger generation. It would be improper to attribute the BJP’s electoral success to him alone.

K.V. Sandeep, Tirupati

The results of the four State elections offer us a clue on which way the wind blows. However, it would be naïve to assume that the BJP has taken an unassailable lead over the Congress. Coalition politics, coupled with the fact that in the last two decades the national parties have steadily lost their vote share to their regional counterparts, show that a government at the Centre can be formed only with help of regional parties. We will have to wait and see how many regional satraps will flock to the NDA in the coming months. As for the Congress, it no longer sits on a bed of roses. With the Telangana issue snowballing and the party struggling to find a reliable ally in Tamil Nadu, its future is uncertain.

Venkata Govindasamy, Chennai

The people, who gave a massive mandate to the Congress in 2009, are fed up with UPA-II. The Aam Aadmi Party’s showing in Delhi has demonstrated that parties must abjure corruption, nepotism and indecision. Leaders must pay heed to this warning.

Major Mathew Oommen (retd.), Pune

It appears that the Congress has missed the bus. The corruption-tainted, scam-ridden, leaderless Congress seems determined to hand over power to the party and person it abhors.

M. Riaz Hasan, Hyderabad

The Congress alone is to blame for its defeat. The UPA government did not implement people-oriented policies effectively. Disrespect for the Prime Minister, lack of respect for Parliament, the use of the CBI to serve its ends, a spate of scandals… these are a few reasons that led to the party’s debacle.

Y.R. Rao, Vijayawada

Most of the poll surveys were right on the election outcome, except perhaps in Chhattisgarh. The common person in the four States was sure that he or she did not want the Congress back in power. The Modi factor too added extra flavour to the BJP’s election campaign. The results of the Assembly elections show that our democracy is going stronger by the day with the active participation of voters, and this is bound to have a big impact on next year’s general elections. It will be interesting to see how the Congress chalks out its plans to contain the BJP.

J.P. Reddy, Nalgonda

There is no doubt that the Modi wave swept the four States and halted the AAP in its journey to power in Delhi. It was so strong that it effectively countered the sympathy factor and the anti-incumbency spirit in Chhattisgarh. Regional parties will automatically veer around to Mr. Modi for a share in power.

M. Ravi, Chennai

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