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Opinion
LPG factor in elections
By Arun Nehru
The Himachal election with a record 75% of votes cast is over and I wonder if the results will be determined by the LPG factor? This is a very close race and the winning margin could be 1% and if this is in favour of the BJP then the LPG cylinder (6 at the subsidized price) may well have tripped the Congress in this election. My feedback is that this issue more than anything else attracted the maximum attention in the public meeting but only the results will indicate if it motivated a section of the voters.

Wisdom by hindsight in the case of LPG cylinders is very welcome and I do hope that the quantity is increased from 6 to 9 which is being reported and while we all understand basic economics the LPG cylinder price has a effect in every home and every housewife in political terms has become negative in her approach and this strains the atmosphere in the house. Strange that Jaipal Reddy was getting the ‘Mahatma’ status for a day or so on the portfolio change but only a month or two ago had advocated the price hikes in Petrol, diesel and the LPG gas price which resulted in strikes and Parliament was disrupted for a prolonged period of time?

I still cannot understand why the Petroleum Ministry and the States do not initiate raids across the country for the last decade to stop the adulteration and the black market in kerosene and LPG cylinders. The increase from 6 to 9 could well mean a cylinder even two more if the cylinders were not tampered.

The UPA2 should last for the full term and by political logic why would any Regional party barring the TMC want the government to fall when the pattern for the Lok Sabha 2014 are not clear between the Congress and the BJP and I have revised the seat figures marginally (140seats each) and Regional parties (250-260 seats). We see preliminary moves in the Regional parties to form alliances but everyone will watch the 10 electoral battles between the Congress and the BJP to see who is ahead in the race and by what margin?

The Regional parties will not give up without a fight and 250-260 seats indicates that a block of 150 MPs is not beyond the realm of reality and while we have five leaders who will fight for the top job there will be secondary considerations also and many in the Regional fold will prefer the other Regional forces compared to National parties as the former will not challenge their position in the State. Early days but everyone has their thinking caps on and this is the position today but few can predict what will happen tomorrow?

I am giving below my revised charts and this time I am giving details of the Regional parties and these will keep changing as nothing is ever constant in politics and it is impossible to keep pace with the changes taking place in each State. These are initial charts and can vary by 5% over time and sometimes more if one or two unusual and unexpected alliances take place.

Everyone can try and form their own Government provided they and the political parties can predict as to who will go whom in the future?

Every party will have to prepare for change and change often is not easy as the political system is under pressure and when we talk of change in the structure and in the chain of authority there are positive and negative reactions and in the current mood every change will have a fall out and this will be more noticeable in the Congress and the BJP as the changes have a impact beyond a State or two. Law of nature is that in an uncertain situation and low numbers every individual and every pressure group becomes stronger then the power source and options if available make the situation even more complicated.

I have been on election campaigns since I was eight years old (do not remember a thing in 1952) and in 1957 I remember that I used to make a note of every place where we could get cold refrigerated water to drink and I still remember the Electrolux kerosene fired refrigerators and the miniature water bottles in Sitapur. Refrigerators were kept locked as cold water was a ‘prize commodity’. The Congress party used to give 5,000 rupees and the MP if elected returned the money in five years! Things have changed as they must with every decade but the escalation was mild even in the decade between 1985 and 1995 but since then costs have soared and today an Assembly election can cost Rs 2-3 crores and a Lok Sabha election Rs 10 crore or more and we are victims of the system and unless this is resolved there can never be a end to criminality.

We have had three decades of majority rule, we now have had three decades of Coalition rule but we are still splintering into smaller groups and why is this process taking place as it makes effective governance impossible?

STATE SEATS CONGRESS BJP REGIONAL PARTIES

AP 42 14 == YSR 12, TDP 7, TRS 8, OTHER 1

ASSAM 14 7 4 AGP1 AUDF 1 BODO 1

BIHAR 40 2 12 JD[U] 18 RJD 7 OTHER 1

CHAT’G 11 4 7

GOA 2 == 2

HARYANA 10 6 1 INLD 2 JHP 1

HIMACHAL 4 2 2

J&K 6 2 == PDP2 NC 1 OTHER 1

JHAR’ND 14 4 5 OTHER 5

GUJARAT 26 8 18

KAR’KA 28 10 6 BSY 8 JD[S] 4

KERALA 20 10 == LEFT 7 IML 2 KC 1

MP 29 9 20

MAHA’T 48 12 12 SHIV S 11 NCP10 IND 3

NE 9 5 == OTHER 4

ODISHA 21 6 == BJD 15

PUNJAB 13 4 2 AD 7

RAJ’THAN 25 5 20

TN 39 4 == DMK 8 AIDMK 23 OTHER 4

UP 80 13 15 BSP 23 SP 27 RLD 3

UTT’KD 5 == 3 OTHER 2

BENGAL 42 5 1 LEFT 20 TMC 16

TRIPURA 2 == == LEFT 2

DELHI 7 5 2

UT 6 3 3

============================================================

140 135 others 267


News Updated at : Saturday, November 10, 2012
 
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