Dynasty in Democracy doesn’t make sense

Congress’s secular nationalist narrative has lost its vigour. Internal elections must be brought back even if they oust its first family.

However one wishes to cut the statistical cloth, the recent state elections have delivered a resounding defeat to the Congress party. Of course, there are other issues that have emerged, too: whether the Aam Aadmi Party has the potential to extend its reach beyond Delhi and the extraordinary implications that might have for the nation’s politics; how Narendra Modi’s charisma was unable to turn anti-incumbency into a BJP win in Delhi and why the margin of BJP victory was so narrow in Chhattisgarh; and, finally, why the BSP got nearly wiped out in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, in each of which it had established a promising foothold.

There are at least two large and noteworthy conclusions. First, India has yet again watched a remarkable festival of democracy. Turnouts rose, a new party emerged, the Maoists were unable to disrupt elections in Chhattisgarh, and no losing party questioned the integrity of the verdict, as was customary in India in the 1980s. For all its flaws, India’s democracy is by now deeply institutionalised. There are legitimate questions about how to improve the quality of Indian democracy, but there is no threat to the existence of democracy per se, a historically unique phenomenon at a low level of national income.




Inflation and the elections

There was no mystery about what rankles the voters. From the badlands of Bhind in northern Madhya Pradesh to the colourful bazaars of Pushkar in central Rajasthan, the neighbourhood barber, the local carpenter and the small farmer would angrily reel off to the exact rupee the rise in prices for onions, potatoes and ghee over the last five years.

On the campaign trail, talk of inflation trumped other hot button issues such as corruption and unemployment. While it is hard to reduce the complexities of an Indian election to a single factor, it seems inflation played a decisive and yet underappreciated role in the Congress`s resounding defeat in the state elections held over the past month.

Read more at http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Why-this-is-Indias-ABC-election-Inflation-explains-why-voters-now-think-anything-but-Congress/articleshow/27142106.cms