q u o t e

Monday, January 16, 2017

UP election a distant view

UP is far away from  kerala where i live. it is  difficult to get any clear view of the ground realities there. yet the contours of the sky and the horizon where the clouds have to form and rain out on the election day, not too far from today, is visible; faint and feeble.  nevertheless the patterns are there if you care to not to blink.

UP  sent the most of bjp MPs to parliament but has  minimum bjp MLAs in the assembly.  this is not becoz the people saw the two elections as mutually exclusive events and applied their mind and decided that bjp is good at the centre but bad in the state. the clue is that UP is a state susceptible most to mass voting. which means they go by the trend , any trend for that matter.

so the trick is to create the trend. that is what PM himself initiated thru demonetisation. an act which can only be described as pro poor, anti corruption, death blow to black money etc even by the opposition. and bjp got a good start.

then the modi effect chipped in . modi is essentially someone who wants to steal the thunder . at regular intervals. remember the unsolicited air dash to attend the marriage ceremony at the house of the pakistan PM.  modi is also someone who never follows up on his initiatives. he probably believes it is the duty of his subordinates and supporters to carry the movement forward. in one of his earlier interviews he probably said that he gave his deputies ideas and allowed them all the freedom to work it out.  his mind gets  engaged in the search for another surprise as soon as the present find is passed on.

demonetisation was thus left to subordinates and supporters to implement. once the  surprise which allowed them zero space for preparation , forget rehearsal , subsided reality sunk in. almost everything went wrong in implementation. PM going along the design stayed  quiet and away even from the parliament. gauge  the extent from the fact that he was forced to refuse  to meet a team led by chief minister of kerala . which is 180 degree out of phase with his character of meeting anyone anywhere which simply make him  the most popular leader in the country.

the surprising fact is that people at large took the troubles that followed in their stride. they have discounted the inefficiencies that plagued the implementation as typical indian way of doing things. the long ques did not matter as for the poor in the country it is a routine. the cash restriction didn't matter as they never really had enough cash to be restrained. the new currency notes getting into hoarders' hands did not matter as they saw it as a natural extension of the present state, nothing worse. opposition parties in india fell flat on  reading  public reaction to demonetisation. 

but there is one  particular move which hurt the soul of the poor people in the country most. the move to stain their forefingers and call them imposters if not frauds .  just for the crime that they did not have an account in any bank and yet tried to encash  a few thousand rupee notes standing in the ques  more than once. UP election is going to be an expression or otherwise of this great hurt. it is going to be a referendum  on this simple mistake in the implementation of demonetisation which the poor is most likely to link to modi . though the fact could be that this particular move did not have the approval or acknowledgement of modi.

yet it is not likely to grow into any major trend  uprooting lotus in the state. bjp will fare better than in the last assembly election. and definitely below the parliament election performance. and anything in between these two extremes can always be interpreted as a win by both the the pm and the party. as such nothing much is at stake in UP for bjp . in short this election is crucial for all other parties but not for bjp.

but the sad thing is that bjp thinks otherwise. they think it is crucial for the party and takes it  as an examination for the pm the result of which will make or break his carrier. the stress that this  line of thinking is sure to create   may lead to unforced errors. which can affect the winning streak. otherwise bjp will put in creditable performance in UP assembly election. as far as the view from this distant place kerala reveals.