If there is one trend that has been consistent since the 2004 Lok Sabha elections in state election after state election, the voters of India have demonstrated tremendous sagacity in delivering verdicts enabling stable governments.
The big question in 2009 was will the Indian Voter at the pan-India level make a sagacious choice towards a stable government.
The answer is out with an emphatic yes.
The voters have rejected opportunistic pressure groups while voting positively for the national party of their choice by an large across India.
It may have come as a personal disappointment to this blogger that the choice they made was in favor of the Congress but there in lies many a lesson that needs to be paid attention to.
But before doing so it would be dishonest if this blogger did not personally compliment Mr. Rahul Gandhi for having made a difference to his party’s revival in the Uttar Pradesh and a job well done.
The nation has made a decisive turn Left of Center on socio-economic issues, the prospect of a Manmohan Singh unencumbered by an arrogant Left notwithstanding.
There are many lessons for the BJP here.
1. Nation is Center Left on socio economic issues and entitlements Nehru Gandhis credibility on entitlements is BJP’s biggest challenge next 5 yrs in states where it does not have strong regional leaders
2. BJP’s maxing out in its strongholds is second biggest challenge for unless it breaks dramatic new ground, attrition in next cycle in strongholds will further hurt
3. Strategy for BJP next 5 years has to be to go local in Andhra, Kerala, TN, WB to occupy the space of political opposition, UP seems distant given current 4th place status
4. Riots have consequences we can no longer be in denial on VHP’s conduct. There has to be accountability for the rot in Orissa.
5. If Uttar Pradesh can still gift 20 each seats to BSP, SP and Congress it points to how uninspiring the BJP’s UP Leadership is. It is time for state leadership overhaul, and the need of the hour is for an Obama like inspiring leadership with no baggage and lots of credibility to counter Rahul Gandhi who will loom large on Uttar Pradesh.
6. Unless BJP breaks ground at the pan India level the central government could be lost to it for another generation there in lies the biggest risk in not focusing on a Pan India strategy with an emphasis on going local in new states
7. Sooner the BJP adopts inner party democracy of the variety Rahul Gandhi is experimenting with to bring new support base especially in states where it needs to break ground.
8. Friends of BJP is a good start to engage the Cosmopolitan Urban voterthis should have started immideately after 2004 debacle it is many years late.
9. At the national level the BJP needs decisive central leadership that can act on all this with a sense of mission and vision. The BJP must not make the same mistake of choosing a stop gap compromise leader to postpone tough decisions.
10. Last but not the least, it would be in complete denial if it did not ask tough questions of how Acts of Adharma in the name of Hindutva have been condoned and the relevance of Hindutva as an ideology to guide on Socio-Economic issues.
At the time of going to press it appears that the RSS and the BJP have gotten into a diagnostic mode, this blogger hopes they pay attention to these feedback points.
In the days to come Offstumped shall put its partisanship on trial and seek feedback on the role Offstumped must play in the days to come.
A big thanks to everyone for joining this journey.