So the BJP won resoundingly in the BBMP elections and secured an overwhelming strength of 141 in the council. This is the first ever election to the council since the BBMP was formed in 2007. With all the modesty I can muster, I’ll say I had expected a comfortable BJP victory unlike most who had predicted a hung verdict and/or Congress victory. Seriously, the BJP had everything going for it as we shall see.
But first, to give credit where it’s due, the media morons outdid themselves in their historical stupidity by predicting 85-90 seats for the BJP, 70-85 for the Congress and rest to the JD(S) and proclaimed a hung verdict and spun yarns about kingmaking and similar tripe. Their reasoning? The BJP’s “pathetic performance in the past two years,” “crumbling infrastructure,” “power cuts,” “moral policing,” “closing pubs at 11:30 PM,” “failure on all fronts,” etc. And they further argued that infighting, and the Congress’ 5-decade hold over the city corporation gave it a “definite edge.” In other words, like always, the media was campaigning on behalf of the Congress party. And now that its pet party has woefully lost, it’s now supplying the same tired excuses on the Congress party’s behalf. Two samples:
Deccan Herald stoops to a record new low:
For the party, the result is the outcome of a carefully crafted political strategy. Firstly, it did not totally sideline long-time grassroot party workers while distributing tickets. As a result the BJP faced much lesser rebel trouble compared to its principal opponent, the Congress…Noticing that voters tend to tilt towards the party in power, the BJP worked out its electoral game plan – a slew of promises from easing traffic congestion to sops for slum-dwellers were announced…People might not have beleived what the leaders promised. But they decided to go with the ruling party probably hoping that it is better to have corporators belonging to the ruling party in the State…There was a sudden show of unity in the party during the run-up to the elections. Legislators campaigned fairly sincerely for the candidates in their respective Assembly segments. The CM went on a whirlwind tour of Bangalore and also criss-crossed the City outskirts.
The Slimes lives up to our expectations from it:
The low voter turnout of 44% seemed to have vindicated the Congress-JD(S) grievance of voter apathy. Both parties were banking upon the BJP’s attempts to defer the elections as the major plank for the voters to turn in their favour.
Overall, there has been no miraculous makeover of Bangalore in the past 22 months by the BJP government, but the sheer campaign of making the city better with a plethora of assurances seemed to have made the difference favouring their victory.
But here’s the thing: post elections, these selfsame media retards wrote triumphantly about how the low voter turnout might backfire on the BJP! And that’s a formulaic repetition: in case of a Congress victory, gloat about its superior strategy, good work, popular perception, etc and characterize a BJP victory as a negative victory. Which brings us to examine the real causes for a BJP win and simultaneously expose media myths.
- People aren’t blind: The past two years have seen frenzied infrastructure activity at a pace witnessed perhaps only during SM Krishna’s regime. And it’s not just the civic works but other areas as well. For example, the BMTC (local bus transport) has come in for exceptional praise on several counts: profitablity (the only profit making state-owned transport corporation in the whole country), innovative schemes (the Bus Day was a big success) and the like. Those cribbing about traffic woes need to note that they can’t have it both ways: a city that’s trying desperately to catch up needs its people to have patience for a better future. The newly-created semi-urban and rural wards have also seen work happening at a dizzying pace: drain works, (work in progress for) 24-hour water supply, good roads, door to door garbage collection, and the like. And no prizes for guessing that these wards come under BJP MLAs. Small wonder that this translated into BJP candidates winning the BBMP polls. And it’s equally unsurprising that the media hasn’t reported any of these developments lest it hurt its paymaster.
- Power Cuts: Power cuts have been a fact of life since time immemorial throughout India. The media that invariably paints SM Krishna’s rule as the Golden Age conveniently glosses over the fact that Bangalore faced power cuts even in that age. The point is any government would’ve inherited this problem but the media deception lies in portraying this as a BJP-created problem. Aside, the media also forgets the situation in neighbouring Maharashtra, which had surplus power just 15 years ago. Two and half successive Congress governments have propelled the state into a powerless abyss.
- Intra party politics: The Karnataka BJP has its own share of infighting but the media has displayed an obscene delight in blowing it out of proportion. Its obsession with the Reddy Brothers is quite astounding. I hold no candle for the Brothers but here’s the thing: had the Reddy Brothers been in the Congress camp, would the media spotlight be on them? We know the answer already: just look at Andhra Pradesh. YSR & Sons run a far more extensive mining empire and continues to use the foulest of methods to keep it well-oiled. Yet not one media eminence has dared to report on the extent of atrocities he has committed both on people and the environment. But it’s free run with Reddy Brothers.
- Strategic Campaigning: This media-supplied excuse tries to sound so naive that it stretches the limits of belief. What was the media/Congress party thinking? That the BBMP elections is some hide and seek game that children play? In reality, the Congress party must thank sheer luck or God or whatever for winning 65 seats given that it merely feigned an attempt at wooing voters. Nothing else can explain the loss of Govindarajnagar, its historically impregnable fortress. Out of the 9 wards in the area, the BJP swept 8 and the JD(s) bagged 1.
- Early closing of Pubs, etc: This is idiotic to say the least. Seriously, how many voters even consider this a vote-deciding issue? More importantly, what percentage of the pub-going population actually vote? But then you get this kind of “analysis” when you employ well-dressed retards at factories like the Slimes of India.
- Miraculous makeover of Bangalore in 22 months: Right. And pigs can fly. Well-dressed retards at work again who forget what happened post 2004. The political inertia between 2004-2008 is really responsible for the mess that Bangalore faces today. Besides, didn’t someone tell Slimes that it is bad practice to believe in miracles? The Slimes can’t have it both ways: if it blames the government for traffic woes because infastructure works are underway, it must STFU when no miraculous makeovers happen.
In the end, the Congress party lost miserably because of these and several other minor reasons and must accept defeat with grace. The same goes for its media stooges who need to stop overestimating their imaginary strength. As for the JD(S), the woman with sticks on her head finally crumbled under its weight. But Deve Gowda must be commended for his audacity to dream that he’d win 30+ seats. The urban populace regards him with worse than contempt–calling a political rival a bastard and whore-son doesn’t fetch votes. Raking up the NICE issue proved a non-starter and in some cases, counterproductive: ask any Bangalorean why. Additionally, people aren’t amused when the former Chief Minister, HD Kumaraswamy asserts that it is okay to let criminals contest elections.
The BJP’s victory is well-deserved but it remains to be seen how it delivers on the mandate.
Tags: Bangalore Corporation Elections 2010, BBMP Elections 2010, BJP Victory BBMP Elections, BJP Victory BBMP Polls, Bruhat Bangalore Municipal Corporation, Commentary, Democracy, India, Indian Democracy, Indian Politics, Media Watch