Post Mortem

A new power equation

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 10/26/2019 12:08:09 PM IST

 Election season comes full circle once again in India five months after general election as the latest round of states’ assembly election produces yet another inconclusive verdict with the ruling saffron party along with its ally Shiv Sena barely managing to retain the India’s second most electorally crucial state of Maharashtra and came within touching distance of majority mark in Haryana placing them in a strong wicket for forming government although this will happen only if they can find a new allies in the state.

Thanks to the great India’s democratic institution that provides political platform to its citizens to assess the performance of the government at the centre as well as the states, the people of the state of Maharashtra and Haryana uses the same platform, through which the people of India gave resounding mandate to BJP led NDA in May this year to rule the country for another five years period, to give strong notice to the saffron regime that the party cannot take people for a ride, reminding that the real political power belongs to the people and it is only through the people that any political parties can derive its strength. And this place India among only a few countries in the world where a unique people-centered political system is the only political order that govern the life of the nation.
While the success of the Indian democratic tradition that overcome all odds in the last seven decades is paramount providing to its citizens the freedom of choice and expression, what is troubling the country, among others, is the unending election cycles that the country has to endure without any significant time break. As the effort to create political consensus/agreement for conducting simultaneous polls for both the states and centre has so far failed, this prevailing electoral phenomena in the country will meant that the government at the centre, along with the election commission, within the given five years term has the responsibility of successfully conducting at least two states election in every two months covering twenty eight states and three union territories across India. This electoral exercise at regular interval forced government and political parties to focus extensively on politics leaving no time and space for concentrating on providing good governance to the people. This unending election cycles, and the relentless efforts by the political parties for winning every elections eventually make way for an unhealthy trend where elections are contested on the platform of narrow politics of numbers, communalism, polarization and appeasement just for the sake of winning votes and in the process tragically setting aside the political narrative of good governance and development. The question of electoral reforms in the country should include how to do away with this trend of unending election cycles.
As for the latest elections’ verdict, this is the ruling BJP failing the first test in its crucial battle for electoral consolidation across the country. The party managing to win one state and finding itself in better place to form government in another, thereby keeping the momentum of wining, should not surprise the readers of Indian politics and the political pundits. What is an unexpected outcome is the margin under which the party performs. Forget about different exit polls’ projection; contesting the elections during the best of its time after sweeping the national election just five months back and disorientation within the ranks in the oppositions’ camp, these two states elections should be a walkover for the ruling party, and this very election provide best opportunity for the party to assert its electoral superiority over its opponents. Had the oppositions’ camp, particularly the Congress, put up cohesive contest identifying local leaders to lead the battle, the verdict would have been a real shocker for the ruling saffron regime. Nevertheless the verdict is a humbling experience for the BJP. It creates a new power equation that would force the party to work together with its allies, not just in these two states but even at New Delhi, as a responsible major ruling party under the democratic spirit of consultation, accommodation and inclusiveness. The verdict had at least for some time dramatically halted the BJP’s ambition for dominating the country’s electoral politics.
The most interesting characteristic of this election’s mandate is the absence of cry and accusation over the question of an alleged EVM manipulation and tampering charge against the ruling party by the oppositions. With the BJP performing poorly and the oppositions’ performance exceeding beyond expectation, the allegation about EVM manipulation influencing the outcome of election didn’t arise this time. It should be an electoral lesson for the oppositions that election is not won on the platform of cheap and immature propagandas, like when BJP won it is because EVM is manipulated and when BJP loses and its opponents perform better then EVM is fine. And that it is only with its own strength and by presenting a consistent and viable political alternative to the nation can it win an election in their favour.
The verdict sends positive feelers to the oppositions’ camp that the BJP and the much hype Modi-Shah’s electoral winning machine is not something unbeatable. If an electoral performance like this, coming just few months after general election, could trouble the ruling party then the oppositions can take them on any political turf and any time beat the so called invincible spell possess by the current BJP’s dispensation. The oppositions have many reasons to read this latest electoral verdict as a sign of their long road to political revival while the BJP is expected to turn more aggressive in the coming days in order to maintain the wining momentum as the country heads for another series of states elections, the next phase being in the cow-belt Hindi heartland states.
A nation like India, a rainbow nation and a land of minorities, defined by linguistic, religious, regional, racial and ethnic diversities, a fractured mandate like this latest one with multiple political parties sharing the spoils, and which makes way for multi-party coalition government both at the centre and the states should be the spirit and character of country’s electoral politics. And it is only in this common coalition platform can it confronts effectively a majoritarian form of democracy and politics popularize by anti-secular Sangh forces which is antithetical to the idea of India. The platform will also help accommodate the voice and the interest of every section of the society and create a perfect political ground towards making India as a successful nation.
Dr. Nsungbemo Ezung, Wokha Town, (ezung_n@yahoo.com)

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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