Verdict of 2017 state assemblies' elections calls for two-party system
The recent assembly elections verdict tells something. It apparently shows that the importance of regional parties is diminishing. It would be in the interest of democracy if two-party system/gatbandhan (alliance) evolves out of these results. Either go with NDA or choose UPA. In the recently concluded UP elections a loose confederation of Samajawadi Party and Congress pitched against the well-organised NDA. Moreover, BSP, RLD and many other parties were in the fray. On the contrary, the alliance in Bihar was relatively stronger and was formed well before the elections there.
People perhaps didn’t approve of the slogan “Kaam Bolta Hai” of Akhilesh. It was similar to the “India Shining” campaign of the BJP in the year 2004. That time too it was a disaster for the ruling party.
If we analyse the term of Akhilesh Yadav, there was some development, no doubt, but the law and order situation deteriorated. SP has been labelled as a party of Yadavs and Muslims. As for BSP, some of its stalwarts deserted the party well before the elections. BSP could not satisfy “Bahujan Samaj”; as a result it suffered disintegration among rank and file. Also, there was great confusion among Muslims. On one side, SP was wooing them, on the other side was BSP while there were outfits like AIMIM and Peace Party which claimed to be saviour of Muslims.
The election result showed that people still do have firm belief in the Modi government. They didn’t find any wrong in Modi's demonetisation exercise which did not achieve any stated goal. Neither that they have not got that 15 Lakh in their accounts. Rather voters were optimistic that economy would pick up in the years to come. They are of the view that BJP should be given some time as we have given much longer times to Congress. Majority of the voters will not want us to believe that they voted for BJP's hard core Hindutva ideology.
There are some genuine concerns of minorities. Safety is the prime concern. There are violent incidents in the name of vigilantism by outfits affiliated to the BJP and this negated the party’s slogan “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”. Any sane society cannot tolerate such vigilantism. At the same time, Indian democracy is getting refined and we hope people of the country would be more tolerant towards each other.
The author is Professor, Applied Mathematics, AMU