Saturday, May 28, 2011

Congress losing the plot

IIPM Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet Hooliganism

Tathagata Bhattacharya

People are strange when you are a stranger. But even to a seasoned observer of Indian politics and its dynamics, the results of the latest TSI-CVOTER State of the Nation opinion poll may come as shocking and, often, inexplicable.

Let's start with the more predictable tunes. Most of the 30,000 respondents from across the country, invariably from urban India, seem consistently upbeat about improvements in their standard of living and seem convinced that the country is marching on as well. This trend manifests itself throughout the eight-month period of the survey i.e. from June 2010 to January 2011. There is a strong feeling among those surveyed that they will continue to benefit from India's stellar economic growth in the next one year too.

Amongst the pressing issues facing the country, rising prices of goods and services have the urban Indian in a tizzy. From petrol to onions, from lentils to fruits, the average urban Indian family has had to cut corners. July 2010 saw most people of the country bear the sudden brunt of it as fuel prices were decontrolled in the end of June. This spurred a hike in prices of everything transportable, culminating in the Rs-60-for-a-kilo-of-onions January.

While unemployment was a bigger headache in the first two months, August onwards, corruption started taking centrestage. Starting with revelations about financial irregularities in organisation of Commonwealth Games, which brought immense international disrepute to the country, to the multi-billion dollar 2G Spectrum scam, more skeletons are tumbling out of closet even as TSI readers read this issue of the magazine. While the Congress and the UPA-II dispensation were already on the ropes, the Adarsh Society scam and the WikiLeaks expose of the cash-for-vote episode during UPA-I should have enabled the Opposition BJP to land killer blows.

You would expect performance ratings of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to decline drastically in the face of rising prices and rampant corruption. But their ratings are surprisingly high and stable. Well, one can attribute this to the fact that in India oddities are a mass phenomena often verging on the lines of impossibility but a more plausible explanation should be the BJP's utter inability to present a new generation of leadership.

The BJP's old order has not been able to see through a smooth transfer of power to the new leadership. This has repeatedly come to the forefront in the last one year when the veteran L.K. Advani and Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj have voiced different opinions on the same issue. Their performance rating is stable but much below those of Dr Singh or Sonia Gandhi. The record of the Reddy Brothers and that of the Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yedyurappa, tainted by successive land scams in his state, have also not helped BJP's cause.

People are more disgruntled with their respective state governments though the percentage of people disenchanted with the policies of the Central Government is also on the rise. This is expected as both the Centre and the states are equally to blame for the fuel price rise. Many Indian states impose exorbitant taxes on petrol and diesel. The Centre's move to decontrol petroleum retail and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar's ministerial duties taking a backseat in the face of his commitments to cricket has hit UPA-II hard.

While the performance rating of the BJP leaders have remained considerably less than the Congress top two, they have surprisingly closed gaps with the Congress over the last seven months in terms of people's choice to lead the government. In July 2010, the difference was 9.5 per cent in favour of Congress. It has come down to 3.2 per cent in January 2011.

Call it bizarre or whatever, the same set of people who returned the above-mentioned figures also returned the following voting preference results. The UPA and NDA's difference fall to a mere 0.7 per cent in February 2011. The UPA had a lead of 9 per cent in July 2010.

Poll forecasts for the four states going to polls in a few weeks' time throw up no major surprise. While the Mamata tsunami is poised to sink the Left Front in its Bengal citadel, the Left is also on the way out in Kerala. Assam is poised for a hung Assembly with the Congress having an edge over a resurgent Asom Gana Parishad. The J.Jayalalitha-led AIADMK's alliance with Vijayakanth should see them capture power in Tamil Nadu.

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
GIDF Club of IIPM Lucknow Organizes Blood Donation Camp
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management
IIPM in sync with the best of the business world.....
IIPM BBA MBA Institute: Student Notice Board
Indian universities and higher education institutes seem to be caught in a time warp teaching things

No comments: