Everyone is celebrating the UPA victory. What more, this time there is no "left" to pull them back on the liberalism superhighway. No wonder share prices are rocketing again.
Here is some facts that did not make it to any of the major election analyses.
One, how Raj Thakre and MNS managed so many votes. 4% of Maharashtra's votes, and 21% of all votes polled in Mumbai. There were news pieces about how MaNaSe dented Shiv Sena and BJP's fortunes (See this colourful account on rediff), but even now, nobody wants to acknowledge or address the job insecurities of local people and their fear of outsiders. For us sitting in the air conditioned luxury, it is all just "regional jingoism". You bet, this fear is here to stay. (Earlier post: Why Raj Thakre is the winner.)
Two, why the left (read CPM) got washed away in West Bengal and Kerala.
CPM was hoping to make Kerala another West bengal, but people decided to make West bengal another Kerala. Indian Expresses and Business houses were all feeling sad that tata had to quit Singur on Mamta's anti-development politics, but people have given her the thumbs up. It is a clear mandate against the Nandigram/Singur politics of Buddha in Bengal.
It is not much different in Kerala either. Unlike the mainstream news media wants us to believe, these election results are not just about PDP or SNC Lavlin. The dalit community, majority of whom voted for LDF in the past, have deserted them. (It was the "saint" chief minister who called the Chengara strugglers "thieves"). When they voted for UDF candidates to ensure LDF defeat in most seats, the BSP did well in Thiruvananthapuram and Kottayam.
In Andhra Pradesh, people dumped a Hyderabad-centered, software-blinded Chandrababu Naidu for a second time.
Sangh's Kandhamal experiments did not work so well in Orissa -- probably because they did not quite have a Modi there to make use of it.
At national level, Congress vote share went up by 2% in comparison with 2004 elections, and BSP was the only other major party whose share went up (though they could not do well compared to assembly elections happened after 2004 in many states). Delhi results suprised me in particular, where BJP candidates lost by about 2 lakhs each. I believe playing the hardline Hindutva card costed it dear.
It will be good to have some younger ministers, unlike last time. But will this UPA government listen to the people's pulses, or will they take it for granted that everyone has voted in favour of their current policies? Let time decide.