The party thus blurred two cleavages, the one opposing the high and the low castes, and the one separating religious communities. The same technique turned out to be successful in other regions too. The all India opinion polls conducted by the CSDS show that till the s, the Congress party was able to attract between According to an opinion poll survey, carried out after the elections, where the Congress I won And if the Congress could not play the role of a catch-all party anymore, some argued that the national character of Indian politics would be at stake Yadav Table 1.
OBCs 3. It had never won so many seats since Table 2. Congress performances Source: Election Commission of India.
First, no Prime Minister in office for a full term of five years had successfully fought elections since Jawaharlal Nehru in Certainly, Manmohan Singh is no Nehru. He is more of a technocrat than a statesman. In these four states, the Congress has won 45 more seats than in Table 3. Electoral performances of the Congress in four key states. Last but not least, the idea that Congress has benefited from a national wave— i. Table 4. The success of the Congress in Uttar Pradesh UP has been attributed to her son Rahul Gandhi, who is in charge of rebuilding the party in this former stronghold.
This achievement—his first success in fact—makes him a strong contender for the post of Prime Minister after Manmohan Singh. The urban middle class also appreciated the nuclear deal with the US—through which Washington agreed to transfer civil nuclear energy technology to India in spite of the fact that the country had not signed the TNP—, not only for the mark of international recognition it represented, but also because of its implications in terms of energy. As a matter of fact, regional parties got more valid votes in than the Congress and BJP combined, thus confirming a trend already visible for the first time during the elections see Table 5.
Figure 1. Vote share of the Congress, the BJP and regional parties since Table 5. The party has benefited from this phenomenon in three distinct manners.
- PDF Indian Elections -- A look back.
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Firstly, in many states, newly created local or regional parties—a clear indicator of the increasing fragmentation of Indian politics—have helped the Congress by denting into the votes of its main opponents, often established regional parties. Secondly, the Congress benefited from the good performance of its regional allies. The DMK won 18 out of 38 seats and helped the Congress to win 8. Some of the former allies of the BJP—like the TNC—opted for the UPA, but others simply regained their independence and contested elections in their states on their own; another symptom of the regionalisation of politics at the expense of national coalition politics.
The party is on a declining slope since its peak of popularity, during the general elections, where it stood at Yet, the BJP has lost only 3. Nonetheless, in terms of vote share, the BJP loses ground in 21 states out of The 82 year old L. Advani, whom the BJP had projected as its prime ministerial candidate, announced his resignation from the post of leader of the opposition immediately after the elections, despite the fact that he had been asked by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the mother organization of the Sangh Parivar, to hold it back till the end of the year. The party is since undergoing a difficult succession process.
First, the NDA lost some of its members. In Orissa, the BJD left the NDA just before the beginning of the campaign, depriving the BJP of an important ally— hence the local success of the Congress in terms of seats in spite of its decline in terms of votes. Therefore, the most important question about the 15 th general elections might well be: why has the NDA shrunk so much between and ?
One of the responses could be that the BJP seemed to be more a loser than before its defeat, but another one may well be that parties like the TDP and the BJD were not be comfortable with the Hindu nationalist discourse and practices of the Sangh Parivar. Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Chandrababu Naidu, might have come to the conclusion that the anti-Muslim pogrom in the BJP-governed state of Gujarat will dissuade Muslim voters to support its party and Navin Patnaik, current Chief Minister of Orissa, might have been indisposed by the anti-Christian activities of the Sangh Parivar in his very state.
Their setback is especially marked in their traditional strongholds, Kerala and West Bengal, where they won only 4 and 12 seats respectively. In both cases, the lack of understanding with potential allies played a decisive role in their defeats. This is fair enough given its performances in , when it had won seats a single majority in the UP assembly, and given its expectations in it thought it would get 50 and be the kingmaker but obtained only 21 seats.
But the BSP has actually made progress compared to the Lok Sabha elections 21 seats against 19 and is still, by far, the first party in terms of valid votes, The BSP, which fielded candidates, has a national presence, more than any Dalit party before. This voting pattern reflects the very structure of the party system, regionalist parties articulating a linguistic identity like the Dravidian parties or a religious one like the Akali Dal for the Sikhs in Punjab or the Muslim League in Kerala. The rise of caste-based parties in the s has resulted in further ethnicization of electoral politics.
Where the money came from is just too much spin to be taken at face value.
Details please. Sorry for cross-posting but on reflection this comment more appropriately posted here than elsewhere: There's been a fair bit of controversy over the cost of this trip. The specially-painted, air conditioned "first class" train is, we're assured, a cost-effective method of transporting a large BBC team around the country, functional and not overly luxurious. Mr Biswas say he'll be be "sleeping, eating and working" on the train. Why then is he now in Taj Hotel, which according to the BBC's own website is "the symbol of luxury in Mumbai" and "has spectacular ocean views, and service and infrastructure rivalling any hotel in the world"?
If he doesn't want to sleep on the train which was hired especially for that purpose then fair enough, but is this extravagant choice of hotel justified, just so Mr Biswas can tell us how squalid and crowded the rest of the city is? Again another day goes by and almost nobody on the entire planet cares to comment on Mr Biswas's blog entries, except to point out that he is failing to connect with any real stories.
How could he be expected to connect with stories, staring as he is from the windows of a press-pack train or a luxury hotel. Please tell us exactly how much this project has cost Mr Horrocks. Ref 18 pauljap Do you know what percentage the Indian population are not yet computer literate? I'll help you out. It's Of those, how many would wish to blog in a second or third language? And how many wish to blog outside their own country?
And of those, how many websites are available outside India? It's incredible that you believe the idea of the train is to encourage people to blog on the BBC website. In any event, even if your faulty measure were correct, marketing awareness takes place first. However, you've been exposed. We don't spell licence with an 's' nor organisation with a 'z' in Britain!
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So what will they make of a BBC railway train apart from the "bright" colours, the cameras, the microphones and the visit from people who are nowhere to be seen when it actually matters Hi, What you are doing now is the same kind of journey undertaken by Gandhi almost a century ago. He did it mainly to understand what India is and what people want. He traveled in then third class meant for Indian subjects of the Raj. He shared the agony and pain of Indians being almost like slaves.
Things have changed now and often westerners compare with what Gandhi hoped he will achieve. Now to understand that Mr. Horrocks be a Gandhian and see and report the events as he would have done it. Any way good idea on your part. So far you have done a good job as far as factual reporting is concerned.
Like Never Before As an undercurrent, the advent of TV media has given rise to unprecedented levels of debates and discussions just about everywhere in the country - in buses, trains, autorickshaws, offices, hotels, roadside eateries, and what not. Everywhere people are now empowered with information, with visuals, with views that they find interesting to share. Not only are people discussing the issues raised in the media, they are also discussing the media! Anyways, the one thing that has been good about the media though is that we have information about every major candidate in these elections.
We get to hear them on a daily basis about their views, opinions, etc. We are now getting a much deeper insight into the mind of the leader, the thinking of the candidates, and the philosophy of the party. The fierce competition amongst the different news channels is thereby ensuring that the voter gets to know everything he needs to know about parties, leaders and contestants before he gets to vote.
Sure, there is every probability that the voter might be confused with this overload of information, but I am also sure this will lead to an informed decision too.
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Watching 24x7 has its own flipsides. For one thing, we get bored of the same thing being shown again and again. The danger of an issue getting diluted because of excessive repeatability is very high in 24x7. In a sense, the media maketh the leader and decideth :D the issue. A kurta clad, dimple smile possessing, plainly speaking youth leader is given unprecedented hype over other additionally talented, intelligent youthful leaders.
In a sense, the media is assisting in rubbing upon us a leader who is clearly not ready to lead. Many such contradictions and interpretations might do more harm than good, but since TV journalism is still in its budding stages, I guess we can give them the benefit of the doubt. So far, the advent of television media has increased the intellectual capacity of the average voter like never before, polarized them like never before, presented to them huge chunks of information like never before and has encouraged them to participate, like never before.
PS: All said and done, I still think nothing can ever beat the experience of sitting in a chair, stretching your legs and reading the newspaper early in the morning over a cup of coffee : More such articles on my main blog on blog spot. We talk great about Indian democracy which is the most powerful democracy on this earth. People do not vote and are disgusted about the present scenario. There is no compulsion to get a definite percentage of votes to become representative. This clearly shows that majority of the people are against that candidate who has become a MP or MLA.
Negative voting at the booth is not allowed or records are not maintained properly.
There is no national referendum for any national issues. Hallo Peter, I do agree with you. In the back drop of some sort of global crisis, understanding India would not only be interesting but, surely, it will give numerous inside stories that how Indian voters look up to their leaders as an agent of change. Are they really or not? But, the team must also carry few select locals - better if they would have been from rural hinterland- and make them travel to also gauge how media perceive their concerns. And, in the end, stories from both the sides would certainly be of great reading experience, if put together in a book form.