Friday, February 24, 2017

Maharashtra Civic Poll Results

News article from the -------------Times of India, 24 Feb 2017

"The results are a major boost to the BJP, which swept eight out of 10 corporations in the state that went to the polls, and a serious setback for the Sena in its bastion, Mumbai, where it was born in 1966. Though it held on to its Marathi votebank, it failed to come within striking distance of the majority mark of 114 in a house of 227 and was matched in tantalizing fashion, as the day of counting progressed.

But with the two parties falling 28 and 30 seats short of 227, all eyes are now on the possible permutations and combinations that could help one of them win the mayoral election, unless they now choose to bury the hatchet and join hands.

Elsehwere, the BJP was the single largest party in Ulhasnagar, Nashik, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, Solapur, Akola, Amravati and Nagpur.

The BJP had conducted a vociferous campaign against rampant corruption and alleged lack of transparency in the Sena-dominated BMC and harvested the anti-incumbency vote despite having been a junior partner in the ruling alliance in the corporation.

For the 25 zilla parishads, BJP won 397 of the 1,509 seats for which polls were held. It was followed by the NCP with 336, Congress with 293 and Shiv Sena with 259. MNS got one and others 147. Results of 76 seats were still awaited.

For the 2,990 panchayat samiti seats, BJP won the most seats, 803, while the NCP got 630, Congress 555 and Sena 538. MNS pocketed just two and Others won 281 seats. Results in 181 seats were awaited at the time of going to press."

As the civic poll results in Maharashtra are being streamed, it is evident that of the two large national parties, BJP has made substantial gains, and the Congress is slowly but steadily being wiped out from the landscape of the country.

BJP with its agenda of development, governance and 'no corruption' is appealing to the people of India at large. People were absolutely at their wit's end after witnessing very large scale corruption during the UPA-2 regime. The BJP's track record in the last 2.5 years has been generally corruption free.

Congress has not served with distinction as the largest opposition party in the parliament. It has served more as a hindrance to the smooth functioning of the parliament rather than as a responsible opposition working towards nation building. It has opposed every move by the government on very flimsy grounds, which the people of India watch with dismay, thanks to live proceedings being broadcast on TV. This can only happen due to very poor leadership. 

It is very sad to see the demise of a political party with a rich heritage and a deep legacy wasting itself, due to lack of good leadership. Not only is it sad but it is also not a very good thing for our democracy; a strong opposition is the cornerstone of effective functioning of the parliament. Decline of the Congress is thus not healthy for our country.

The Congress has relied very heavily on the Nehru-Gandhi name, and legacy, for far too long, without effectively performing, so as to meet the aspirations of an India that has broken free from the shackles of licence raaj and a mai-baap government. The Congress leadership had not been able to contain corruption, or provide effective governance in UPA-2. The role of the PM as leader of the government left much to be desired. His personal integrity is above board, but as a leader he failed, and he failed miserably. 

As an opposition, and that too after a bad very bad rejection by the people of India, they are performing abysmally. There does not seem to be a plan to introspect, as the party is not willing to call a spade a spade. There is a crying need for a change of leadership within the party. The party cannot survive on a legacy that has long been eroded by their collective misdeeds. The Congress has to remind themselves that democracies are 'of the people, by the people, and for the people', The people of India are giving them verdict after verdict, but somehow instead of introspecting, the party is going on the offensive, sometimes on issues that border on the 'anti national' too. The people of the country are wise; the leaders have to listen.

11 March 2017 will be a watershed day for India. In case the BJP makes further progress in the five states and the Congress trips even more, it would time for the Congress to immediately call for a change of leadership at every level; preferably changing over to a leadership that is connected with the grassroots level. Suave, urban, Delhi based 'leaders born with a silver spoon' who are totally out of touch with India will have to be sidelined. This would be in the best interests of the country. India deserves a better opposition. 

A revitalised Congress can be that better opposition with a leadership that is connected with the people of India.

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