Tuesday, April 28, 2009

15th Lok Sabha polls

As our country enters into its 15th Lok Sabha polls, there are interesting changes in the social and demographic landscape which would surely have impact on the forthcoming elections. 

The most important and also tragic part would be the post poll zero ideology driven and only opportunism based power struggle which might lead to a very weak government at the center with most incompetent people at key positions.  

Candidates/Political parties whose performance in the Lok Sabha elections interest me more:

The political equation in Uttar Pradesh- The state which sends 80 MPs to Lok Sabha.  How does the pie get distributed amongst BSP, BJP, Congress and SP? A state which has remained backward on social as well as economic parameters doesn't seem to show any sign of coming out of this situation of poor governance.

Janta Dal (U) in Bihar- Apparently Nitish Kumar has done a good job in Bihar as the CM. If anyone can challenge the hopeless caste based politics in the state of Bihar, he seems to be the most promising candidate.

Lok Satta Party in AP- a promising party with strong leader- Dr Jayprakash Narayanan, but questionable second rung. The performance of this party would to a large extent decide how it 
manages to interest youngsters in other states. 

Maharashtra Navnirman Sena Party which has fielded 11 candidates in Maharashtra- a party trying to use violence to capture the issue of immigration in Maharashtra. A party which has the potential to change the contours of society in Mumbai around ethnic lines atleast in the next 5 to 10 years.

Praja Rajyam Party- Party started by Chiranjeevi in AP and being considering to have the capacity to give a strong challenge to Congress in that state.

Kalyan Singh defected BJP to join SP. Considering the baggage of Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 when he was the CM, how does his candidature help/dent the prospects of SP, which has always gone by Muslim vote bank politics

Arun Bhatia - former accomplished bureaucrat standing as an independent from Pune. The country is in need of such high performers

Mallika Sarabhai from Gandhinagar Constituency- she is standing as an independent against L K Advani

Rishi Aggarwal - an environmentalist from North West Constituency of Mumbai standing on behalf of Jagore Party- New party

Meera Sanyal from South Mumbai - independent against strong Congress, MNS and Shiv Sena candidates

Dr Mona Shah and Rajendra Thakkar- Candidates from Mumbai fielded by Professional Party of India. A new party driven heavily by the thought that Professionals can be good politicians but seems to sound too simplistic a solution to excite the electorate. 

Varun Gandhi- the idiot son of Menaka Gandhi and representative of BJP who came into limelight on account of the venom he spewed against the minority community. His electoral performance will be a reflection of the quality of electorate in Pilibhit.  Not much to say about BJP and its murky and convoluted ideology.

Last but not the least, Sadhu Yadav, the estranged brother in law of Lalu Yadav who has joined Congress. He is pitted against Prakash Jha from LJP (headed by Paswan) Considering the fact that this constituency is dominated by Yadavs and having defected RJD, its likely that this candidate would lose because of their loyalty to RJD.  

As far as completely new candidates are concerned, it would be interesting to understand the number of votes they are able to capture as that would be an indicative of how the electorate perceives clean chit candidates.

Other interesting statistics can emerge from understanding the popularity of the new parties like Bharat Uday Mission, Bharat Punarnirman Dal and Jagore Party. None of these groups seems to have a convincing mandate though they are talking about the promise of good governance

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