Sunday, November 1, 2009

Organiser - How they lost and won Maharashtra

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    • By Dr Jay Dubashi
    • There was time when onions used to bring down governments. Now, apart from the usual scary headlines in the papers, nothing happens. Not a single Congress candidate lost election because of prices. It is as if the word "inflation" has been rubbed out of people’s memory.
    • Then the shootings in Mumbai on 26/11/08 in which at least 200 people died. This happened in Mumbai , the state capital, under the very eyes of the Chief Minister who after a decent interval decided to inspect the damages in the company of his actor son and a film producer.
    • Did any of this have any impact on the election? None at all. In Mumbai city, the Congress and its new side-kick, MNS (Maharashtra Navnirman Sena), have grabbed more than 50 per cent of seats, as if they had nothing to do, either with rising prices or farmers’ suicides or shootings in the city. There is now a distinct disconnect between politics and political events, as if the two were independent of each other, with no link between them.
    • What has happened is that over the years the ruling party has tightened its hold on about 25 per cent of the electorate, including minorities, and the rising middle class, whose fortunes are not decided by farmers but by the ups and downs on the stock market. Their incomes now depend on what happens in Dalal Street in Mumbai and Wall Street in New York than the onion fields in Nasik or potato patches in Solapur. These sections now believe that their fortunes are linked with those of the ruling party, no matter what happens elsewhere.
    • But you don’t win elections with 25 per cent of the vote. You need at least 30 per cent to 35 per cent for a win. So the entire energies of the ruling party are directed towards acquiring and making sure of this extra five per cent to 10 per cent, which makes the difference between victory and defeat.

      It is possible to get that difference only if you break up the existing opposition parties. And, for the last ten years, this is what the ruling party and its bosses have been doing.
    • It is high time the opposition saw the writing on the wall and closed its ranks. It is not only the farmers who are committing suicide, the opposition is committing suicide too aided and abetted by the Congress. This explains the enthusiastic reception accorded to Raj Thackeray by the media, which is largely controlled by foreign interest and the ruling party. It is Raj today, it could be some body else tomorrow. Mulayam Singh and Mayawati, are you listening?