The ivory towers of manifestos of the main parties have been built, complete with golden leaf covering. We are less than two days away from electing our next Prime Minister. In this whole melee of election chaos, there is a kind of dynamism that’s engaging, commoving and even baffling!
It’s almost like the exciting Olympics…with the motto of Citius, Altius, Fortius- Faster, Higher, Stronger and perhaps it’s true too, if seen in the backdrop of our thriving Democracy. Unfortunately though, our democracy comes with a rider, more so this general election. Never have we (the voters) faced this kind of dilemma that this 2019 GE is throwing at us. There are parameters, hopes- riding high with the tall promises made by the Congress and the BJP- the two prominent parties of UPA and NDA respectively. Could anyone imagine that the invincible looking BJP of 2014 would be having to fight tooth and nail to retain the power and fighting it is- with all its might, using all that it can. Cow, religion and temple are back as its favorite weapons!
2014 was a wipe out for Congress, but it’s back like the Phoenix with significant Assembly election wins under its belt. Rahul Gandhi surely has outperformed himself. He seems to be perceptively more assertive but then time and again pops up with statements, reminding one the Rahul of yore! There is Priyanka, there is NYAY, but will people forget the corrupt ways, the dynastic ways, the appeasing ways and the sycophancy ways!
Coming back to the election, this surely is going to be much more interesting and nail-biting election and perhaps after a long time, is mostly being fought on the real issues of employments, good governance, infrastructure and other social issues, which is like a silver lining in the thick cloud!
NYAY has the potential to tilt the game, given the sheer number of BPL population. And in a weird sense, this ‘non-clarity’ about the mode of implementation can actually work in its favor as most of those affected people will have no understanding about the nuances of financial planning and they will possibly take it at its face value. They probably will not read between the lines and will not hear Rahul’s mellowed announcement, that to implement NYAY, some of the other schemes will be curtailed.
But then there is no dearth of people who look at Modi governance beyond the cow, temple, religion politics. For them, NDAs infrastructural push, railway reforms, a long-term initiative like Swachch Bharat and its efforts to strengthen brand India are the real issues and they do want it (NDA) back! For most of them, NDA has been far less corrupt, and the biggest factor is Modi himself, who doesn’t carry the ‘dynastic tiara’ to be handed over to the next generation! There have been bold policy decisions (sometimes, arbitrarily).
Then there is GST. Sure, the implementation could have been better thought of, but most of them think that it’s a step-in right direction even though it still has a long way to go, for smoother and healthier economy. Although NDA narrative seems to have missed out big time on issues like job creation and communal harmony (actually it was on the contrary), surprisingly, it still seems to be ‘better placed’ as compared to the UPA. According to a survey conducted by the Economic Times, 71% of the CEOs (according to ET, it reached out to 130 CEOs and out of them 95 responded) and 78% of its readers are betting on the Modi Government to return to power. But then it can’t claim to mirror the sentiments of 900 million voters with different interests and expectations.
Still, there are people, who are completely discontented with BJP’s policies vis-à-vis its religious take and do not want ‘over-nationalism’ that may annihilate India’s spirit of diversity! They seem to be looking towards Congress, but the big question is, will they (the Congress) be having the numbers? Also, there is leadership issue. RaGa is doing better, but then only when he is compared to himself and not many in the UPA would agree on his name! Some of the regional heavy weights of UPA are nursing their own ambitions! Add to that, the spices of Jaganmohan Reddy, KCR and Naveen Patnaik who are affiliated to neither the NDA, nor the UPA and the heady concoction is ready- to be enjoyed till the last phase of the election! And hope you haven’t forgotten ‘Didi’ for the extra chilli!
Let’s hope that amidst all this, our beloved country comes out as winner!
Copyright © Aradhana Mishra