” State Elections – Nov/Dec 2018 – Challenge is to Make Both Ends Meet ” – December 14, 2018.

 

 

Madhya Pradesh – Congress 114, BJP 109.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               Results of the recent Elections, specially in the case of the three Hindi Heartland states,  should neither frustrate nor elevate the hopes and spirits of the two major parties – Congress and the BJP. The fruits have in effect been distributed  ‘ex aequo’.

               Here’s why  :  Both the parties can declare victory of some sorts in this election.

 

Rajasthan – Congress 100, BJP 73.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               Congress gained seats in both Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan ( set to form the governments too )  even while securing absolute majority in Chattisgarh. 

 

Chattisgarh – Congress 68,   BJP – 15.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               BJP,  against the strong odds of anti incumbency came close to Congress in Madhya Pradesh;  and holding the convention of a change in rule every five years – over the last 25 years or so –  was not routed in Rajasthan as many expected. Yes, they lost Chattisgarh comprehensively, after 15 years.

               No party’s card can read the facts clearly, though, in this election.

               That the winning party needs to prove it’s mettle looms large in the face of Congress. There is this urgent need for the party to focus on 5 aspects :  1.  Growth,  2.  Development,  3.  Mitigating the agrarian lapses,  4.  Strengthening security environment specially in Chattisgarh,  and  5.  Strengthening social harmony amongst communities.

               If there is any indication for how the next six months will shape, it can well be cast thus :  1.  There will be lot more shouting in the assembly,  2.  There will be pointing fingers,  3.  There will be interruptions,  4.  There will be bickering over policies and financial allocations,  and  5.  There will be temper tantrums .

               Congress needs to carry the opposition with them – with a steadfast focus over the government and industry working more closely –  to accelerate growth and development. Congress needs to work hard to ensure that the integrity of its plans and programs are of good standard.  Congress needs to promise and pledge that checks and balances will make sure that they strive to live up to the standards in terms of implementation.

               There are certain myths and inconvenient truths that both parties should be conscious about. One of the most important myths is that you can  “strategize”  your way out of this conundrum that you may not be at ease with. It occurs to my mind that the three states have no comparable situation before ( in the last 20 years or so ).  Hence there is no precedent to follow or take cues from.

               While  “strategizing ”  can certainly give insights into what went wrong,  it can’t say clearly what you should do. No one can predict.  Particularly in a situation as  the one that is before the parties today, it is not prudent to change strategies only because there are complaints from people on some issues at present. But from the insights, the parties can gauge how people feel about them to the extent of identifying some patterns as information to the strategists/leaders.

               If on the other hand a party wants to find out in respect of a specific aspiration like ‘jobs’  and how it can respond to that challenge, there is more likely to be a comparable situation in the past or in any other state before. This is where strategy becomes tangible.

               What the election results have given to the two parties now is just a reinforcement of existing knowledge ( that people satisfaction is primary )  and misperceptions about the efforts that the parties engaged in. This happened primarily because  the assumptions held and in fact tuned to came from the leaders rather than from real perceptions of the people. Hence the close results.

               What the two parties should do now ?  In short, each party needs to  “think big, but start small”.  No big or drastic changes need to be attempted. What this means is to start with a small initiative in a particular location/constituency that can help analyse the metapsychics of the people with respect to satisfaction and stability. This is like focusing more on the locational and other details of clashes, crashes, and accidents etc rather than images or photos of the same. The images may show the event but do not give any details. The details need to be prospected by individuals. This process is more effective and less complicated. This will also tell clearly what people think about the party.

               In essence, what I emphasize in this context for each party here is to stick to its guns without much shifting ground whether or not induced by the puzzling results of this election. Be it your core principles of  ” Secularism,  Security,  and  Service ”   OR  your core principles of  ” National Interests, and People Welfare ” – stay put with smaller initiatives without prospecting to create any new or big strategy.  People at this juncture crave for proven impact in their lives and the parties cannot be wrong in adopting a considerably narrower but specific view of prosperity. This will ensure ends meet.

 

     ” Dieu avec nous “

     Friday,  December 14,  2018  –  6. 39 p.m.  (IST).

     Tidbit : ” No government can keep out of trouble by spending more than it has “. Continue reading

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