To say that Delhi has responded would be a huge understatement. To say that Delhi result may not influence the citizen’s perspective of Lok Sabha elections would only be called as ‘narrow minded’ thinking. Current government washed out (or cleaned out), new government might not even form thanks to a hung verdict unless coalition happens, a debut to cherish – all happened in a single election.
Following are the 5 significant takeaways from the Delhi Election results –
- Sign of things to come for INC? It could be. Corruption, lack of governance, security lapses, policy paralysis (though not entirely their fault) has all resulted in an anti-congress wave across the nation. Will it impact the general elections in 2014? Time will tell. But the trend is surely going against them. The government has few months to come up with a revised plan for 2014 but the chances look slim.
- Entry barrier reduced in Indian Politics – if you have a definite agenda and it resonates well with the people. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has had a wonderful debut. Significance of AAP in Delhi election is mentioned in detail here. There used to be a time when people said entering politics means to have support of any of the top parties (national or local). That has changed. If you have a strong intent to change the system and you know how to convey the same to the people in their own language, you can make a difference. AAP did it this time. They are not the single largest party in Delhi - BJP is - but they have ensured that the current government is removed from the helm.
- Government cannot rest on their past laurels. They not only need to show results in 5 years, they also need to show consistency in their results. Yes, infrastructure has improved. Metro has been introduced, standard of living might have improved over 5 years but where was the consistency? What about inflation? What about security? One incident is all that’s needed to dent the performance. No government from now on - state or centre - should rest on their laurels.
- Emergence of a stronger local faction. India is a country with 28 little countries within. They all have their own set of problems and the way people vote is not always anti-performance. There are caste-based voting, class based voting, popularity based voting and various other reasons people vote / don’t vote. This explains why we have local political parties emerging apart from 2 truly national parties – INC and BJP. I have a strong feeling that these parties will have a huge say in the general elections. Watch out for parties like Trinamool, SP / BSP, DMK / AIADMK, MNS, AAP. They might decide who will rule for next 5 years – INC, BJP or even the theoretical 3rd front.
- Exit Polls are fairly accurate but lack purpose. There’s a general trend – if the exit polls are against you, rubbish it and if the exit polls predict your victory, people of India has responded! I personally believe exit polls exist to maintain the excitement of election till the results are declared. I fail to understand why we have a gap of minimum 3-4 days between election and results especially EVMs are used. Yes, there are logistic issues involved. It’s because of this delay that exit polls have sprung up. Let’s assume a scenario where voting happens till 6pm on a day and results declared by 9pm (to suit prime time news with insanely high advertisement cost). Isn’t that a win–win situation?
People have spoken in Delhi. Can the same people hum the same tune in 6 months’ time?