gfiles magazine

April 9, 2012

Satraps arrive with a bang

Satraps arrive with a bang
As the recent assembly elections proved yet again, the two national parties – the Congress and the BJP – are losing their spheres of influence to the politically and socially savvy regional parties
THE two national parties, the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, are facing an uncertain future in the national polity as their geographical and social reach has shrunk with 14 Indian States with 410 seats of Lok Sabha having an overwhelming presence of regional forces. The two confront each other in only 117 seats in nine smaller States without a presence of a third force. The regional parties thus would not allow them either a leading role in any combination that could come up for forming the government at the Centre or allow them an opportunity to call shots. The two parties are an anathema to regional forces founded on ethnic aspirations of groups deprived of a share in power, as the leadership in both the parties is dominated by urban-oriented, western-educated professionals and middle class, leaving no space for the emerging political class.
Regional parties have understood the basic urges and ambitions of the classes
whose causes they espouse. They are not wedded to any particular ideology
except for taking power away from urban middle class.
The recent assembly polls give enough indication of the bleak future the two national parties face. The Congress and the BJP could not get even 20 per cent of the seats in the new Uttar Pradesh assembly while the two regional parties, the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party, grabbed more than 75 per cent of 403 seats. The national parties were reduced to taking solace from their victories in the small states of Manipur and Goa, each holding two seats in the Lok Sabha. The split verdict in Uttarakhand has left both parties uncertain and in Punjab, the Congress could not defeat the Akali Dal though the sentiment was against the incumbent party. Circumstances were right but not the leading person for the Congress.
The Congress and the BJP could not break away from their traditional electoral strategies of luring poor voters with crumbs of personal benefits without any scheme for their empowerment. It clearly indicated that neither was aware of the metamorphosis the deprived class has undergone since the start of flow of resources to rural areas, with agriculture and allied vocations deriving its benefits. The spread of economic comforts led to an arousal of political ambitions. The deprived classes could not enter the leadership structures of the national parties as those holding controls were not willing to give them a due share. The emergent classes had no alternative but to form their own political set-ups.......READMORE :

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