May 23, 2016

Congress’s long goodbye

In this Mint article, Vivek Dehejia of IDFC Institute shares his reflections on the recent assembly elections in India and what they augur for the governing BJP and the opposition Congress parties.

 

"The mightily impressive win in Assam, and a good showing (in votes if not yet in seats) in some other states, puts the BJP back on the electoral rails. And, equally importantly, it validates expectations in the lead-up to the elections, based both on polls and on prior beliefs, that, after a rough finish in 2015, 2016 would bode well electorally for the BJP... What’s more, the BJP’s good showing vindicates Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the party’s continued faith in Amit Shah, party president and de facto chief election strategist...

That apart, the broader message coming out of these assembly elections reinforces a narrative harking back to the general election in 2014—that the BJP has now replaced the Congress as the national party around which the political economy revolves. This ups the ante as the nation heads towards 2019.

Another abysmal showing for the Congress might just be the last nail in the electoral coffin for the grand old party and its faltering and flailing dynastic leadership...

Politically mature democracies tend eventually to outgrow the party in power at the time of independence or which dominated their early post-independence history. (Name the last Federalist president of the US.) Could India be living through the long goodbye of the Congress?"

 

Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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