Feb 7, 2007

Cartoon Speak: How to Bite the Dust

It's all your fault Raj. We thought you'll take on the Shiv Sena
"It's all your fault Raj. We thought you'll take on the Shiv Sena".

Courtesy: The Hindu

The Congress Party is in the habit of exhibiting their arrogance of power from time to time and each time they do it they bite the dust. The latest was in the run up to the municipal polls in Maharashtra. Logically Congress and NCP being coalition partners should have joined hands and fought the polls together especially when the alliance was returned to power in the state assembly election only because of them going to polls together. Not only that after returning to power, the alliance has been on a downhill spiral - from power cuts in Mumbai City to farmer suicides in Vidarbha. But the overconfident and arrogant Congress Party felt no need to have an alliance with the NCP and spurned all offers from the NCP for an alliance. The Congress didn’t want to give any foothold to NCP in their Mumbai ‘bastion’.

On the other hand a weakened Shiv Sena took along its partner the BJP and despite Raj Thackeray walking out of Shiv Sena, the coalition was able to hold onto its vote bank.

The difference between the two coalitions is that one has mastered the art of coalition but the other despite putting up a viable coalition of secular and castiest parties is still to learn the art of coalition politics.

The postmortem has revealed that it was this arrogance of power on the Congress party’s part that has prevented the 'secular' coalition from dislodging the 'communal' coalition from BMC. So much so that the Congress will be able to rule only one municipality and that too with NCP’s blessings. Had they fought as a coalition, about 60 more seats would have been in their kitty.

The secular vote was further divided when the Muslims voted en masse for the Samajwadi Party because of the so-called witch-hunt of Muslims by the Maharashtra police after the 7-11 serial train bombings. The brutal Khairlanji killing of Dalits – in which the accused are fellow upper-caste villagers having allegiance to a local BJP politician - has ensured the Dalit vote moving to Dalit parties like BSP and various factions of RPI. BSP’s performance has been particularly impressive.

One heartening aspect of the BMC poll was the victory of apolitical Adolph D’Souza in Juhu’s 63rd ward.

No comments: