16 January, 2021

Don't Prick The Bubble

It's nonsense to pin the anti-NDA vote on to reforms and not anti-incumbency

Sandeep Adhwaryu
Don't Prick The Bubble
In less than a week, India has been stunned twice: first by the election results that handed defeat to an extremely successful prime minister and then by Sonia Gandhi who, having toiled for six years to wrest the prime minister's position from A.B. Vajpayee, decided to step aside in favour of a citizen of Indian origin. While Sonia's critics were willing to divide the nation on the issue of her foreign origins, she herself was not.

Many commentators have described the NDA government's defeat as the rejection of the economic reforms. This is nonsense. The Congress had not only pioneered the reforms, it has also promised to carry them forward in its poll manifesto. To quote just two key sentences from the manifesto: "The Congress will broaden and deepen economic reforms. The overriding objective will be to attain and sustain year after year a 8-10 per cent rate of economic growth...."

Moreover, the results point to a strong anti-incumbency rather than anti-reform vote. Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, which had fallen from the Congress to the BJP in an anti-incumbency...


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