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6 reasons Congress wants an early election

Discussion in 'National Politics' started by Marqueur, Jul 10, 2013.

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  1. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    This week, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh visited Bangalore for the first time after assuming charge of this southern State’s affairs. He had a closed door meeting with the top State Congress leadership and made it abundantly clear that they should now start working on LS polls with October-November as the deadline. Highly placed sources within the State Congress leadership have confirmed that the party is looking for an election before the end of this year.

    This is the clearest sign that the Congress has given in the last few weeks regarding early Lok Sabha poll, although many experts and TV news pundits have been talking about this for some time now. At one level, this strategy appears to defy conventional logic — electoral history suggests that forwarding elections has seldom helped ruling parties, for stability and completion of terms have been seen as pre-requisites of our chaotic democracy. At another level too, Congress is seen to be riding a big anti-incumbency wave across India and it makes sense to hold on to power for as long as possible.


    Is it possible then that the Congress has lost its nerve and that this is a classic case of vinasha kaale vipareeta buddhi? Although the decision to have an early poll appears to be a nervous decision at the outset, there is some cold logic in such reasoning. Here are six reasons that the Congress strategists have spelt out in Bangalore after the Digvijay Singh meeting that go in favour of early polls.

    1] Karnataka honeymoon period and the southern comfort: As of today, the Congress is very positive of its showing in Karnataka, where they expect to win nothing less than 18 Lok Sabha seats. BJP is in complete disarray in the State after the May defeat and the saffron cadre are still confused about Yeddyuarappa (many had actively worked against official BJP candidates in the recently concluded Assembly election). Apart from five or six strongholds, BJP is unlikely to put up even a powerful performance in the rest.

    This Congress honeymoon period has a sell-by date, for there is already large scale dissidence due to denial of Ministry to a large number of senior leaders. The faultlines between Chief Minister Sidrammaiah’s Janata gang and original Congressmen are getting sharper with each passing day. Once the BSY conundrum is sorted out, BJP can regroup and make a strong comeback in the State. Thus it is pertinent for the Congress to make use of the Karnataka opportunity without delaying any further.

    Not just in Karnataka, but even in the neighbouring state of AP, the party believes that Congress is on a comeback trail. In any case, having elections with Jagan Reddy in jail is seen to be a better proposition than having him out on the campaign scene. It is believed that Jagan may get bail early in 2014, thus making it pertinent to finish at least the Lok Sabha polls before that. Congress also believes that by having some kind of a closure to the Telengana issue in the next 2 months, it can reap rich dividends in terms of Lok Sabha seats in that state.

    As always, Congress is hoping to get substantial number of its LS tally from southern India once again, especially in the 3 States of Kerala, Karnataka and AP. After the olive branch to Kanimozhi, Congress has hopes to have some reprieve even in Tamil Nadu, where at least it can have a fighting fit alliance with the DMK in place now.

    2] The NaMo factor: Although Congress never admits it openly, Modi has become the biggest worry for the party in the electoral arena. Many Congressmen are over-awed by the Gujarat Chief Minister and candidly admit in private conversations about Congress’s central strategy being the fight against NaMo. There is a threefold thought process behind early elections vis-à-vis Narendra Modi:

    A.
    Do not give Modi time to have a sustained campaign across India, which would make him a far bigger problem than he already is for the Congress. This thinking also goes well with the Congress strategy of dealing with Modi as a regional leader and just as the Gujarat Chief Minister rather than letting him have national space as the PM-in-waiting.

    B. Tie Modi up in court cases like that of Ishrat Jahan. Congress knows that the Ishrat Jahan case is standing on thin ice and cannot be sustained beyond a few months either in the public domain or in the courts of law, so it is time now to give it maximum mileage and put BJP and Modi on the defensive. It is pertinent for the Congress to shift the NaMo debate away from governance issues and development politics and bring it to the secular vs communal divide. Ishrat Jahan case in its infancy, especially using CBI charge sheets, provides Congress a small window of three to four months to shift the debate.

    C. Prevent Modi from building any cogent alliance. Right now, BJP is vulnerable in its coalition quotient after the exit of JDU and it is important for the Congress not to give any chance or time for Modi to build a grand alliance. This helps in two ways; 1) Divides anti-Congress votes in crucial States and 2) Helps propagate the Modi image as a divisive figure who cannot build alliances.

    3] Food Security Bill as an electoral gamechanger: Ideally one would have believed that the Food Security Bill needs time to percolate down to the voters, especially in the rural areas, so that Congress can reap electoral benefits, right? Wrong! NREGA experience tells us that it is not the subsidy to the people that fetches votes but the propaganda of an intended subsidy that is the real vote-catcher.

    In 2009, NREGA was mostly on paper and only partially implemented in a few States, but Congress reaped huge electoral benefits out of this scheme when it was in its infancy. Now that NREGA has been actually implemented, it is hardly a game-changer, because of humungous leaks and uselessness for most people that it is intended. Also, voting classes mostly give credit to State Governments and local administrations, rather than the Central Governments once such schemes are actually implemented on the ground.

    It is also clear to the Congress mandarins that FSB is a mirage that will be even more difficult to implement than NREGA without creating monstrous black markets, leaks and corruption. Thus, propagating FSB by simple partial implementation is likely to give immediate electoral benefit in the next few months than the actual scheme itself. In short, it’s a ponzi scheme for immediate votes.

    4] The looming four-State mini general election in the heart of India. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Delhi go to polls by December and Congress is widely expected to do badly in almost all the four States. It is thus important for the Congress to go to Lok Sabha election on a winning note; an advantage it has now after the Karnataka victory; rather than on a losing note to keep the morale of party workers high.

    There is a section within the Congress that has apparently been arguing that the party can still have at least 1 or 2 upset victories among the four States that are due for polls, thereby stealing the thunder of the BJP. But the counter-argument is that if such upset victories can happen, then let them take place simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls which will only benefit the Congress nationally. The Jharkhand overtures to the JMM despite contrary long term impact on the Congress party in the State must be seen in this context of an early election preparation.

    5] A good monsoon year. All indications say this would be a normal monsoon year after the previous drought year, which makes it conducive to have elections. As I have argued in the past, Governments tend to win elections in non-drought years, but the impact is limited to a few months. Once the winter sets in, rural India moves on from the feel-good factor of a normal monsoon, so it becomes important to time the elections precisely.

    6] Internet and social media discourse. It is a well-known fact that the discourse in cyberspace is vehemently anti-Congress and overwhelmingly pro-NaMo. The ability of social media to impact the political discourse in India is increasing with each passing day. It is estimated that every month that the Congress delays elections, it may lose an additional million votes due to the antipathy from internet and social media circles.

    Although such an argument sounds farfetched at the outset, it is not without an element of truth. The increase in number of internet users every month and the additional new signups on platforms like Facebook and Twitter do roughly correspond to such high numbers. No matter what the actual impact is, it is a growing menace for the Congress and it needs to act without any further delays. The best course of action for the Congress seems to be damage limitation and that can only be achieved by an early election.

    Epilogue: Is the BJP ready to take on the Congress at such a short notice? Will the party be able to put aside internal differences and work under a NaMo leadership? Ideally, BJP needs about six months to prepare itself strategically and politically for a no-holds-barred fight. One is really not sure if the party is a fighting fit unit as of today. Congress is reconciled for a defeat, it is hoping for a hung Parliament where it can play the secular card, so an early election suits that agenda. Whereas for the BJP, anything less than 180 Lok Sabha seats would be a defeat. The odds are stacked against the BJP in an early election scenario, will it be a 1996 redux after all?

    source
     
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  2. Marqueur

    Marqueur Peaceful Silence ELITE MEMBER

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    anything missing ... i guess not !!!
     
  3. Rock n Rolla

    Rock n Rolla Lt. Colonel STAR MEMBER

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    Really good analysis :tup:

    Very true !!

    Narendra Modi will win the elections is all I have to say.
     
  4. Y2J

    Y2J 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Modi have his own style and personality that's why he can rocks in gujarat and india in future.
     
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