Monday, 18 May 2009

Why the Lok Sabha results make me happy in spite of making me unhappy

My prediction about the seats for the BJP were way off the mark. I predicted around 150 but the BJP managed just 116 seats. But, do I still have reason to rejoice? Yes, I do and here's why:

1. The Right didn't win. But, nor did the Left. The good news: If 2004 saw the Left's best ever performance, 2009 saw its worst ever. Mauled by the fiery Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, India's red bastion of three decades crumbled. The Left won in just 15 of the 42 seats in the state and its net tally came down by 20. In its other bastion Kerala, it won just 4 of the 20 seats. Its countrywide tally of 24 is its worst ever.

2. Mulayam Singh's SP lost its opportunity to be kingmaker. Its UP tally dropped by 13. It is now down to just 22 seats. And even as the Congress indicated that it may not need the SP's company, Amar Singh met the PM and offered support. As if he had any other choice. Out of power in UP, the Samajwadis didn't want to lose out on the clout in Delhi too. The good news: Parties that want to ban English and computers are out.

3. Out goes Mayawati from the power corridors of New Delhi, at least for 5 years. The good news: Leaders who want to erect statues of themselves all over the place, build nothing else but memorials and whose partymen routinely kill people who are unable to contribute to party funds are out. Mayawati's party may have increased its net tally by 2 seats but at 21, it is nowhere near the 40 - 50 that most analysts were predicting. (Even I had grudgingly given 30 seats to the BSP in my analysis but had made it clear that I would not want her in any seat of power in Delhi.)

4. Laloo and Paswan, two blatantly casteist leaders are out and Bihar can get to see some good governance under Nitish Kumar. Paswan's LJP won no seat with Paswan himself losing. Laloo Yadav's RJD did a tad better than LJP. It won 4 seats even as its tally dropped by 20. The good news: This is the best news that the people of Bihar can ever get.

And yeah, so I'm one happy man today!

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