Monday, 18 May 2009

So who are the losers!!

A ramdom list and reflection of my thoughts or lack of it

Urban middle class (UMC): This could be longish again as I try to explain my points. As few people have pointed out that Cong has won seats in most of the urban areas and many have equated that urban middle class has supported Cong and it’s a shift. A possible reason of that could be MMS’s image as reformer which connected well with middle class when he was an FM in PVR govt. But why do I put say urban Middle class in loser category

I believe Fiscal policies and high deficits affect UMC more than any other class. This is the group which is most affected by the any changes into the interest rates and liquidity in the markets. With loan weavers and other bloats we have a very high fiscal deficit (something similar to what we had before 1991) which means the govt is the biggest borrower in the market and leaving very less money for ‘aam aadmi’ to borrow. Thus the total value for money is not going to go down anytime soon would have a direct impact on aspirations of UMC.

Well documented price rise. Again with large deficit and high interest rate govt has a limited scope to make a dent here

If this victory in election can be termed as vindication of the policies that govt was following lets say on Reservations, IIT/IIMs are done now. Which one is next target to propagate social justice? Squeezing of jobs for UMC. Although with Arjun Singh not likely to be in ministry again this one would be interesting to see as I believe MMS and other key people were in principle against the caste based reservation in higher institutions

Infrastructure: last five years were anything but frantic activity on infrastructure build up. We the transport minister expected to retain the portfolio we would see the same pace (or lack of it) although some of the places have benefited check the statewise allocation and their status for NHDP III/IV and you will have your answer.

Communists: now this one is a given, I thought more than the nuclear deal (Cong never talked about it in its election campaign) they lost it because they behaved in Nandigarm, Singur which really showed their ugly face. The killings in Nandirgarm and subsequent refusal to do any course correction made them pay heavy. In Kerala I think numerous run-ins with Church could have had its effect. Now communists will have to worry on keeping their existing flock together rather than expanding. A smaller fallout of this would be they would be missed in LS debates and I always feel this bunch of people are more well prepared for discussions that happens on policy matters.

Modi: Brand Modi was on a roll and irrespective of the overall outcome a collective win in Gujarat-Rajasthan-and-Maha might have propelled him to centre stage faster and he would have become the tallest in BJP after LKA. But now it will require some correction in his brand to get on to centre stage. Media would come after him even harder and a not so good showing for BJP outside Guj just ensured that ghosts of 2002 will continue to haunt him. A win in areas where he was in-charge would have dented some of the voices against him but my guess is he will remain to confined to Guj for quite sometime now.

I think Modi would like to get to the centre stage only when the court cases for 2002 reach to a conclusion either way and his opponents are better off keeping 2002 alive in some form or the other or it might become something like 1984 .. say sorry and move on.

Mayawati: a clear dent in her ambition. She has shown the impatience for the PM chair during the Nuke deal debates in LS. But now with Cong making a severe dent in her upper caste (is it not divisive to talk about caste??) vote bank and her explanation of bad showing in elections means Muslims are still not voting for her party. She would now be worried on keeping her existing votes together. By the way I think BSP is the largest party in India even bigger than Cong and BJP purely from the number of seats that they fought in this election. A smaller fallout is she might not remain a gung-ho supporter of breaking up of UP in smaller states (which makes administrative sense and could be good for that region)

Samajwadi Party: Not because their numbers have been reduced but because they will not be able to play any role in Govt formation. It would take some serious effort from Mulayam to keep this party together and alive as they are not in power in UP and not relevant in Centre.

Laloo & Paswan: First Paswan he has a unique record he has won elections with the margins that has got him into the record books and has remained in central ministry despite different parties ruling at the centre. But he has lost his own seat and LJP failed to win anything. It would take lot of perseverance for him to make himself relevant again. Now on Laloo he has done wonders for Railways and I believe a tie up with cong in Bihar (which he refused and now says was a mistake) would not have made any difference in the final seat tally from Bihar but would have saved a ministry for him. Now with effectively five years out from centre and another atleast seven years (I do not see his party making any real progress in next Bihar assembly election as well) of without power even in Bihar would look like end game for Laloo. But he has very often proved everyone wrong so I would not bet on it.

Grameen Vikas: I thought Raghuvansh Prasad Singh was one of the best ministers not only in the govt but could be counted among the best in other ministries as well. He made serious effort in a ministry which was considered very un-glamorous and gave the country its first social security act in the form of NREGS. The act in itself is brilliant although the execution is a bit problematic with lot of corruption creeping in. This act did wonders for Cong but surely Raghuvansh babu is not going to be part of ministry in new govt and I don’t see someone else working with the same vigor in Grameen Vikas has he has worked.

Srilankan Tamils: Now that the election is over no one in India is going to make similar noices for them. They will now have to wait till TN elections before they again start getting sympathetic voices from India.

Mumbai: the vote share that MNS has received would only mean that they are going to get emboldened in their approach. Mumbai is the only looser with MNS going try to maximize its benefits and with Maha elections round the corner the decibel levels are only going to go up.

There are some others as well like Sharad Power .. it could be end of his PM ambitions as well.


  1. In UP, the two parties whose vote share has gone up are the BSP, yes, and the Congress. BSP is now tops with 27%, Congress 18%. This somehow does not show in the number of seats that the BSP has got.

    The MNS is the weapon of the Congress-NCP to divide and defeat BJP-Shiv Sena. It has worked till now. But in the long run, the costs may be heavy. Raj T will turn against them at some point of time.

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