Reality Check India

The vote magnet

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on June 3, 2009

I really need to dump all the ideas buzzing in my head into a coherent post later this week. The central question is : What impact does our system of benefit protection impact whatever we have by the name of democracy ?

My opinions on some events.

1) The PMK loss : 

This is an example of getting punished for working for a larger interest. There is no question that it was Dr A. Ramadoss who was instrumental in the OBC quota. Is anyone amazed they were rejected ? Even R. Velu who was arguably the real performer in the Railways lost to Mr Jadadhratchagan.  According to the theory of this blog, Mr Ramadoss’s work was commendable – but for the OBC group, not for the MBC group. There is really nothing by way of benefits for his voters. Result : His voters were picked the next larger group or were turned into free agents (either vote on issues or vote for cash) Repeat lesson for Laloo and Mulayam.

2. The Congress sweep of urban India :

Barring Bangalore, the Congress swept all urban areas by a huge margin. What happened here ? Do these people really want more power cuts, pathetic living conditions, zero municipal development. Do not believe the pundits. Our word is that urban India responded very favourably to the divisive quota policy. The reason is simple, they are the most equipped to take advantage of it. The media did a commendable job by completely suppressing any discussion of this issue.  Again, many of skeptical about this theory. Arent ‘middle class’ people supposed to vote on issues ?   No they arent we say. If you dont believe us please poll the student body of DU and their parents this year.

3. The hero – the media

The recent sickening coverage of the ‘racist australia’ make people wonder whether they are really subject to any checks. Hello, seven guys are accused of raping an American girl in the Congress paradise of Mumbai. Can you imagine what hell would have broke loose if something like this (god forbid) happened in Oz? 

If you accuse them of hopeless bias, exagerration, dramatization, and working up a frenzy, the perplexing defence the media will offer you is : “Hey let us go, only 1% of 3% watch English electronic media”. The fact is, the media still sets the table at dinner. What they dont like isnt even on the menu. Competition is laughable as they are mostly from the same gene pool.  For example : they could have easily pursued the spectrum scam as vigorously as Varun. This would have dramatically changed the colour and the mood of the free agent voters.

4. The BJP

The BJP cannot hope to be a Congress-lite. It does not work that way. Did they wheel-deal on various scams ? Why are they completely silent on the SEZ issue ? I do not remember them raising the corruption issue seriously on even one occassion. The Swiss bank stuff was funny : someone remarked that the BJP’s swiss bank plans made the other guys get their cash out and defeat them soundly.

I agree with the must-read Indian blogger Barbarindian that the BJP cannot move closer to the Congress on key issues and hope to be relevant.  No one is going to be nicer to them for doing that.

Now the Congress is really consolidating by these schames (scam schemes). The vote marshals are motivated. There is a lot of cash moving around. Good times.


9 Responses

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  1. Prasanna said, on June 4, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Hi RC

    Great analysis especially on the defeat of PMK

    However tend to diagree that quota issue was important reason for the voting pattern in metros.There has been complex interplay of factors and “pro-incumbency” has come to play.Pro-incumbency provides the party in power to means -foul and fair to help in consolidating their hold.Even the BLR victory of BJP can be atributable to this

    1.Mumbai Thane-It would have been a SS-BJP sweep if they had not underestimated MNS factor.MNS established lead in 12 assembly segments in Mumbai.MNS voters are indisputably traditional Marathi Manoos voters who cannot think of voting for a non-Thackerary outfits.MNS fielded some young dynamic Marathi manoos while SS-BJP fielded status quoist.Being in Mumbai on work,i couldnt believe the number of upwardly mobile Marathi professionals who viewed Raj very favourably .Though many claimed they voted SS-BJP , my analysis is that the fear of being identified as chauvinist could have made them hide their true voting preference (they would have voted MNS)

    Infact SS-BJP has OBC consolidation to thank them in rest of Maharashtra.Infact quota issue proved deterimental to NCP .OBC’S who are close to 30-35 % consolidated with Sena-BJP as NCP leaders have been demanding quota for Marathas

    SS-BJP and UPA state wide assembly split was 130 each.If MNS factor is not handled in the ensuing election ,its curtain for SS-BJP for another 5 yrs

    2.Chennai-Jayalalitha ‘s dubious selection of candidates were party responsible for the 2-1 verdict.She is proving to be lame electoral strategist and her candidate selection borders on inexplicable.If they could fielded say a Sharatbabu type candidate in Chennai Central ,Maran might have bite the dust.Despite a pretty blatant misuse of state machinery ,Maran and Elangovan scrapped through while South Chennai voted ADMK despite a four way race

    I think as CEC Naresh Gupta said TN is now the new Bihar as far as electoral malpractises go.Ruling parties(DMK/ADMK) have been doing that regulary now

    And to be fair DMK especially the low profile but highly effective Stalin(quite like him) have done good work in Chennai

    3.Delhi- If at all quota would have worked against Con party it had to be in three-four seats of Dilli epicentre of anti quota protests.But Con party swept it with BJP not even putting in a token resistance.They lost even West Delhi.

    I was understanding the reason for Con Party’s continued supremacy in Dilli in electorally insignificant ,parasitic state of Delhi-the haughty city which represents everything that is wrong with Nehruvian India.

    Came to a conclusion that the city which epitomises crassness,arrogance,lack of work ethics electing Congress comes as no suprise.Was it a suprise to the anyone that city full of overfed and petty Nehruvian babucracy,babalog metropolitan floatasms, the beautiful Christian convent educated “elites ” , crony capitalistic class ,wheelers and dealers,NDTV inspired Pink Chaddi loving candlekissers and raging Abduls whose worldview is formulated based on the incendiary and inflammatory venom spewed by Jama Masjid Mullahs) voted Con party so convincingly?

    Time BJP writes off Dilli

    4 Kolkatta-If at all there was part of Bengal that Buddha should have got votes from,its bound to be Kolkatta.Quota is non-issue here given that 70% Hindu Bengal is “Upper Caste”.Only reason i can think of is complete Mozlem consolidation behind TMC-Con alliance.What explains even Md Salim losing?Ofcourse significant section of the avant garde Bengali Bhadralok might have been fascinated with disruptive politics of Didi.Anyaay no tears to be shed for the Stalinist rascals

    5.Hyderabad-Need to study in detail.Spectacular decline of BJP in twin cities though is clear with emergence of players like Lok Satta marginally explaining the decline.However Owaisi’s MIM has gone from strength to strength.

    Might Advani’s ridiculous theory of “voters punished Third front” might hold some element of truth in HYD

    6.Bangalore-Social engineering of BJP was spot on in North BLR.South BLR was tough battle bu pro-incumbency factor i spoke and defection of a influential Con Mla helped.Central BLR-captive abrahamic votebank of Con party got divided as Congress fielded a cop turned evangelist(BJP defector) while Gowdas fielded a Muslim Bizman

  2. rc said, on June 4, 2009 at 3:04 am

    Great comment Prasanna.

    Quota is not the only benefit, but it is the primary benefit. It is the most rigid grouping. IMportantly it is the benefit completely at the mercy of benefit protectors.

    In Chennai Sarathbabu and others will not cut any ice. The more middle class / upper class you are the more likely you are to vote for benefit protection. This behaviour seems like a paradox or sorts.

    The recent pay hike for government employees numbering 12 Lakh and pensioners numbering 8 Lakh will cement the ruling parties position even more given the 10x fan out of voter influence of government employees. So, government employment is another benefit, but even that is linked to the quota benefit.

    Bengal can be easily explained in terms of social justice. The Muslims will desert the CPM simply because it makes no sense the grimy muslims of East Midnapore do not get the benefits the HOnda driving gulf returnee from Mallapuram takes for granted. Such are the anomomalies of data-hiding.

    We have implemented all negatives of Socialism to perfection. All positives of Socialism (equality / education / health) are trashed.

    But more people want more of this !

  3. anon said, on June 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm


    Who is this sarathbabu ?

    2)A choice like kaduvetti Guru will ensure non-vanniyars vote strategically.As far as quota benefits in Central Govt there was no difference in DMK/PMK positions.There was nothing to chose between them.Karu and TR Baalu had pitched in their efforts as well.There is no chance for MBC category in Central quota.(Atleast for now).I dont think that was a factor.

    You are also a chennaite,i think.The PMK is hated by sengunthars,mudaliars,chettiars,naidus etc.Ramadoss is seen as a crass opportunist by them.That would have caused polarisation of votes.

  4. Barbarindian said, on June 6, 2009 at 5:23 am

    Thanks for the plug RC 🙂

    Right about now the opinion space is getting flooded with theories of why Congress won. Perhaps it is more important to find out what the party itself believes won it the elections – because then they will do more of those. Needless to say, there is a distinct buzz about reservations. Some media channels did sting ops on cash for seats scam. This is surprising to say the least, this has been going on for ever, not exactly among the best kept secrets.

  5. reason said, on June 8, 2009 at 6:21 am

    testing if I can comment

  6. reason said, on June 8, 2009 at 6:40 am

    Elections are about margins. There may not be one single theory, but if we can figure out what contributed to the margins, that may go a long way. I think the OBC vote (more precisely the OBC segments that are more likely to benefit from reservations ie creamy layer) could have gone entirely to the UPA. The rest (like the rural vote in Karnataka etc) do not have such a strong incentive with OBC quota because they know they are not in the reckoning for those seats.

    It is amazing how many people think BJP was against quotas! I had seen in your blog, and also in swapan’s blog and a few others.

    The BJP might have just given it to the UPA in most other places.

    The BJP’s decline in UP is phenomenal. And their total inaction to it is also phenomenal (The famed Jaitley held it this time). It looks like they held on to their 18% vote share from 2007 assembly elections, and in western UP their ally Ajit Singh benefited. It could have been worse without Varun though nobody will admit it even if there is data backing it (like Varun himself polled 50% vote in his seat, and helped his mother win a bad seat too).

    Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and UttaraKhand appear to be BJP infighting.

    Even Gujarat did not hold. There is a pattern in Gujarat now – 2002 assembly BJP sweep with 10% vote-share lead, 2004 lok sabha even with some 2-3% lead, 2007 assembly BJP sweep again with 10% lead, 2009 even with some 2-3 % lead. Even the vote turn-out shows a pattern – high in assembly polls, lower in lok sabha.

    There may not be any theoretical explanations for the nation wide results at all.

    The only possible nation wide theory could be ‘vote marshals’. We talked about this before. Particularly from Gujarat, it is startling. It might be possible that the vote marshals in Gujarat are more efficient and put their resources on a winnable horse every time. It is BJP for assembly and congress for lok sabha. Modi appeal has to be really strong that it blunts the marshals to an extent and prevents a total collapse in lok sabha elections.

    It looks like BJP wishes to finish itself off. Some old men who cant win a seat in Delhi appear to be suggesting all manner of theories to control the party now.

    there was a comment on english media reach being 2-3%. This number is going to grow, and the BJP’s complete lack of a strategy to handle ELM’s lies and antagonism – will make it worse. Also, Jeyamohan made a point a while ago – the vernacular media is beginning to have ‘opinion’ type pages that they did not have before. They are merely copying (ie translating) what the english media carries. This will magnify the reach of this. Jeyamohan made this point in relation to Tamil media.

    thinking about it, if I voted BJP was it because BJP did anything to get my vote? was it any different on the issue we discuss a lot? It was a negative vote. I may not turn out to vote anymore.

    If I ran the BJP, I will ask for massive surveys in the next one year. There is so much blind theory being peddled and BJP itself may otherwise fall victim to such meaningless theories.

  7. reason said, on June 8, 2009 at 6:49 am

    “The BJP cannot hope to be a Congress-lite.”

    it appears like that is exactly what they want to do. There are murmurs that the H word did them in, so there are well meaning suggestions now to just drop it.

    Both in 2004 and 2009, the party could not even do a decent job of analyzing its defeat.

  8. Sama said, on June 9, 2009 at 2:59 am

    “Some media channels did sting ops on cash for seats scam. This is surprising to say the least, this has been going on for ever, not exactly among the best kept secrets.”

    It’s interesting how the Times of India headlined its investigation of capitation as “Death of Merit” – without any mention of the biggest corruption in the education system, i. e. government sponsored caste-based reservations. Capitation cannot be discussed without discussing caste-based reservations, I feel. They go hand in hand, and to some extent have a cause-effect relationship. Both are corruptions of the pure merit case, and this kind of discussion by the Times is pure hypocrisy.

  9. […] 3 2009 : The vote magnet “you accuse them of hopeless bias, exagerration, dramatization, and working up a frenzy, the […]

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