May 19, 2009
The people of India have spoken through the deft handling of their fingers over the electronic voting machines over a 5-phase mammoth election with results announced on 16th May 2009. There were many pre-poll and post-poll predictions, most of them pronouncing that it will be a close race with the UPA holding a slight edge. The prediction about the Congress being the single largest party and that the Congress-led UPA will form the Government has come true but none expected that the Congress alone would cross the 200 mark and that the UPA will almost edge the magic figure of 272.
The people have spoken decisively in favor of progress, development and a truly secular agenda, endorsed the efficiency and integrity of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the mature leadership of Sonia Gandhi. They have also spoken in favor of the youth aspirations and pro-poor needs projected by Rahul Gandhi and his youth brigade in the Congress. WELL DONE !
Before proceeding further, we the people wish to place our deep appreciation and thanks to the Election Commission of India for efficiently and successfully conducting the world’s largest democratic process in a free, fair and generally peaceful manner. The month long 5-phase election was tortuous and the wait for the results agonizing but given the largeness of the country and the enormity of voters, this was required. We are relieved that deficiencies like “booth capturing” and “bogus voting” are a thing of the past.
We the voters have also conveyed several messages and some reprimands. Let us look at some of the reprimands :
Message-1 – To the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) – The people have said “We are interested only in development, jobs, water, irrigation, electricity, roads, remunerative prices for our agricultural products etc. We do not support any communal agenda or divisive policies. One of the great assets of our beloved country is the beautiful mosaic of “Unity in Diversity”. We want to sustain and preserve that asset. We also see through duplicity; For example, you criticize other parties for promoting dynastic politics but you do the same; you accuse other parties of purchasing politicians but you do the same; You initiated the Nuclear deal with the USA when you were in power but opposed the deal when you were in opposition”.
“If you subject yourself for unbiased introspection, you should be regretting the adventure or misadventure of your affiliates in Orissa. The attacks on Christians in Orissa has resulted in your party being almost wiped out in that state and in the process, you lost an important ally along with some 8-10 Lok Sabha seats. Your subtle projection of Narendra Mody as a future Prime Minister and the tacit support to the hate speech of Varun Gandhi, resulted in some of your allies getting jittery and wanting to leave NDA. Instead of your pre-occupation with people being converted, we hope you will really convert yourself as a party “with a difference” in the next 5 years and function as a constructive opposition. We may then consider you favorably in 2014 ”
Message-2 – To Sri LK Advani – The people seem to have said “ You have our sympathies that you lost your chance to be Prime Minister. However, a Prime Ministerial candidate should project and highlight one’s own capabilities, experience, talents and achievements and not harp upon the real or perceived weakness of the opponent. Dr Manmohan Singh is an internationally renowned and respected personality, an honest and upright leader guided by the best interests of our country, a financial wizard credited with the financial stability of India and an embodiment of integrity, gentleness and gentlemanliness. He has impeccable credentials and a Curriculum vitae that is the pride of every Indian. You seem to have missed all this and repeatedly called him as the “weakest Prime Minister of India”. Well, we thought you are weak and do not have the strength to be our Prime Minister”.
Message-3 – To Chief Minister Yeddyurappa of Karnataka – You might wonder why we are reprimanding you when we should be congratulating you on the creditable performance of BJP in Karnataka in contrast to the rest of the country. Well, perhaps ‘reprimand’ is not the right word but we wish give you a little warning. First of all, the credit for the BJP success in Karnataka should largely go to a faction-ridden and disorganized Congress Party and its lackluster campaign, added by the JDS factor in many constituencies. We hope the good performance of BJP does not result in the conclusion that the assaults on Churches in Karnataka and the attack on innocent girls in a pub in Mangalore had no impact. These attacks have weaned away thousands of urban educated voters, specially the youth from the BJP. Please note that the party which prided itself as being strong in Urban areas has scored a ZERO in all the four metros – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and in several major cities – Chandigarh, Jaipur, Kanpur, Nagpur, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam, Madurai, Mysore, Trivandrum, Ernaculum. Bangalore and Mangalore have been the only exceptions but sometimes the impact of wrong actions occurs more in far away places! Therefore, please control the fundamentalist and fanatic elements that attacked churches or pubs and ensure that they never occur on the soil of Karnataka again. Otherwise, in the next elections, Karnataka will do to Congress what Andhra, Rajastan, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Delhi did during these elections”.
Message-4 – To the UPA Allies like RJD, LJP, PMK and SP – The people seemed to have said “We are a little tired of too many Regional parties trying to hijack national interests. One of the important ingredients of leadership is to closely monitor the pulse of the people and conduct an independent unbiased assessment of your strength and popularity. If you had done that, you would have made a realistic seat adjustment with the Congress in Bihar and UP and PMK with DMK-Congress in Tamilnadu. Instead each of you projected exaggerated claims, tried to humble a national party like Congress and in the case of PMK, a strong Regional party like DMK and in the process caused yourself great damage. We hope the lesson is clear”.
Message-5 - To the Congress Party in Karnataka – The people wish to say “You should be ashamed of your performance in Karnataka. You can justifiably take credit for the BJP victory in the state, which you facilitated through the internal fights and animosities within your party. This caused an enormous delay in the selection and announcement of candidates leaving no time for planning, strategizing or systematic campaigning. We did not know who the Congress candidates were even a month before the elections whereas the BJP candidates or their representatives were able to meet us personally and received our votes. All that we can say is – Better luck next time”
A word of appreciation – To Nalin Kumar Kateel, the winner in Mangalore. “Congratulations Nalin Kumar – your youth, clean image and grass-root level identity was certainly a factor that propelled your victory but we think your admirable gesture in touching the feet of your opponent as a mark of respect fetched you 40,000 extra votes – the margin of your victory. We hope you will not conduct the exercise of who voted for and against you but work for everybody and for the progress and welfare of the people of DK district. Good luck to you”