FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: ANTI-INCUMBENCY

RELATED POSTS:
MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA VERDICTS AND MODI WAVE*
FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: RULING PARTY/ALLIANCE CORRUPTION**

The discontent was telling. And it was the ‘most’ popular sentiment in the just concluded elections.

In Maharashtra, the ruling NCP-Congress combine was in government for 15 years, the last three terms. And like the political dispensation has been in India so far, even if it bring some development, it is riddled with corruption and allegations of corruption, as we saw in case of Sheila Dikshit’s government in Delhi. Sheila was Delhi’s chief minister for three terms, for 15 years.

Her government’s track record on development was good, but was not free of corruption. And as the terms went on, from five years, to ten years, to fifteen years, the governance got riddled with more and more allegations of mammoth levels of corruption. Yes, the Delhi that we see today, that can claim substantial development during her terms, kept on oiling the wheels of corruption as well, that put even her under the scanner.

And Maharashtra could not claim even of this front – development (with corruption).

Coupled with political arrogance and insensitivity reflecting in political statements on issues of social relevance, the lack of development or rather the lack of balanced development created heaps of anti-incumbency against the ruling coalition government.

Then there were ‘popular’ measures adding to the anti-incumbency, the discontent, like verbose talks even if Vidarbha farm suicides continued unabated, like a chief minister on a Taj Hotel tour with a filmmaker just after the 26/11 terror strike, like the continued Maratha Vs Non-Maratha rants, like the consistently bad show of vital social indicators, like the Maratha reservation card and so on. The list seems pretty long.

The discontent had brewed to its full ‘ripeness’.

Similar is the story of Haryana.

A Congress ruled state for 10 years had a family sort of rule, of the Hooda family, a Jat leader from Rohtak who never crossed the ‘culturally backward Haryana’ line on social evils like Khap dictats and honour killings, a Jat leader whose rule was basically focused on Jat dominated areas of Haryana, in and around his city Rohtak, who, as well, played the reservation card, a Jat leader, who like other politicians, and in typical Congress fashion, promoted interests of his family, his clan and the families of his party members first. Allegations of widespread misappropriations in recruitments were common and even the civil services were not left out.

And the Hooda government even bungled the case of Gurgaon, the once dubbed Millennium City of India that is increasingly being identified as a concrete jungle with unplanned development on social indicators and a city of horrible crime rates.

Also, the associated corruption that came with its lucrative real estate dealings did not leave even the first political family of India. Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is facing allegations of corruption and misappropriation in land deals and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is facing allegations of going out of the way and mending rulebooks to help clear the Vadra land deals.

And naturally, these are not the standalone cases where allegations have erupted. There are many on the lines of nepotism, casteism and regionalism spread over the last 10 years – a perfect recipe for sky-high discontent.

And so, the anti-incumbency built was huge and saw its desperate way out in the Modi Factor, as in Maharashtra, in the promises made by Narendra Modi, in the day he has been able to add to the development of Gujarat, a state Modi ruled for over around 14 years, a good enough stretch of time to let the discontent and the associated anti-incumbency creep in. But, anti-incumbency has never been an electoral factor all through the Narendra Modi’s tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat.

The huge anti-incumbency reflected in the higher turnouts as well – highest ever in Haryana with 76% voting and 64% in Maharashtra, fourth highest ever and 5% more than 2009 assembly elections – a measure of increasing ‘popular discontent’ against the ruling establishment.

*https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/maharashtra-and-haryana-verdicts-and-modi-wave/
**https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/factors-at-play-in-maharashtra-and-haryana-ruling-partyalliance-corruption/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/