By Kamal Morarka
The election results of five states are out today. The results are as per expected lines. In Kerala they always alternate between LDF and UDF there are no surprises. In Tamil Nadu they normally alternate between DMK and AIADMK, but this time AIADMK has been re-elected which is a departure from the past practice. Credit must go to Jayalalitha that she still commands the confidence of the people despite controversies and court cases, which she always beleaguered with.
In Bengal people thought Mamta Banerjee will win but lesser majority but she has won with a bigger majority. It shows that her electoral base is intact and though the Congress and joined hand to fight elections it did not dent much into her vote bank.
In Assam, after a 15 year of Congress rule, anti-incumbency factor plays expected thing. The good part is that there is no confusion and BJP people who fought together got a clear majority. I think nowadays there is a tendency of the electorate is as the elections come nearer they go one side. They do not like a mixture, hotchpotch and horse trading after the election results, which a good augury for democracy. All in all I never belief states elections have anything to do with the central elections coming after three years. The only lesson you can learn is with Mamta Banerjee winning and Left winning in Kerala, Narendra Modi, three years later, will have much more uphill task than he would otherwise had. Three years is still a long way to go and as far as the national picture is concerned there are two problems. First, people voted for BJP are disappointed because they expected much more delivery and much faster results. On the other side the Congress does not appear to be picking up steam and if by 2019 the Congress does not show the sign of aggressive leadership that will go to the advantage of the BJP. Of course the third front is being contemplated or made, unfortunately because of internal differences they do not come together. Mulayam Singh, Lalu Prasad, Nitish Kumar etc. all comes together it will be a formidable force, but UP elections are in 2017 and they will show where things stand. It is largely expected Mayawati will win and make a government in UP. Mulayam Singh’s party has a lot to think. Of course Mulayam Singh’s Rajya Sabha nominations are on political lines. He has got Beni Prasad Verma who is a Kurmi with 12-13 percent Kurmi votes in UP. He has again appointed Nishad then Revati Raman Singh who is a Bhumihar. So the political nominations are there this time, instead of giving just your favorites or giving ticket casually. So seriousness for 2017 is being understood. Of course after the UP elections, one can review what will happen in 2019. That is as far as elections go.
Generally the country is cursing along. However, Subramanian Swami who is a newly nominated member of the Rajya Sabha has raised a few issues. He wants to two law officers to be changed, he wants the RBI governor to be changed. But the way he is making statements it gives an impression that he has got some support from higher up to act as a sounding board. One does not know. Of course there is widespread opinion that Raghuram Rajan is from that Chicago Doctrine and follows those policies. S. Gurumurthi has articulated that fiscal deficit is good when there is a credit expansion and inflation is rampant; when there is no credit expansion and there is no inflation you must loosen the fiscal deficit to provide some money to the economy. Of course these are the subjects which only economic pundits can answer or the people in the Finance Ministry or the PMO can apply their mind, but it is definite that unless some money is put in the economy the investment climate will not improve. The FDI which I think with the same steady flow, nothing big is happening. Another six months or one years the government must do something speed up investment – whether it is domestic or FDI.
There are two opinions on the RBI governor. Nobody is happy because you are not reducing the interest rate, industry was not happy, foreigners were not happy, but the other thing is out of present lot his credibility is high that now the industry say if you remove him the credibility of government will go down. This all said and done according to me, in a country like India one person cannot make a difference, but whatever it the government should end the uncertainty – either give RBI Governor another term or say that we are going to appoint another Governor. The uncertainties and MPs making a comment is a not a good augury for the Government. Let us wait and see.