Thursday, May 9, 2013

Why the people of Karnataka rejected the BJP

In the background of the decimation the BJP and the KJP faced in the Karnataka elections the other day, we hear a lot of people conducting Post Mortems attributing it to various reasons like infighting, the Yeddiurappa Factor and others. I believe that none of these are relevant. The people of Karnataka have voted out the BJP as it has failed them, just like every other political party since the last 10 years or so.

I remember the days when the last Congress Government was surprisingly ousted and JDS wrested power, I had felt a distinct sense of foreboding when they claimed that Congress lost power due to their urban centric policies and undue concentration on Bangalore, and vowed to ignore Bangalore and concentrate on Farmer issues when in power. While this may have given the JDS good political dividend for a few years, this policy shift killed the Goose that laid the proverbial Golden Egg by stifling investment in Bangalore, and consequently, the revenue generation for the rural focus works started dwindling. This was also the start of the downfall of Bangalore and since then, it has become an increasingly unlivable city.

Without going into the sympathy factor for the BJP when it replaced the JDS as the next Government, BJP had been given a mandate to rule the state on the claim that they were a ‘party with a difference’ and that they would usher in an era of development and growth. However, they frittered away that mandate by indulging in excessive corrupt practices wherein virtually every Government Department was covered in the muck of making a fast buck. Governance as a result suffered and the State started going rapidly downhill. For over 50 years, Karnataka had boasted of higher than National Average growth rates and also seen excellent performance on most social indicators. Sadly, today we have amongst the worst infant & young mother mortality and malnutrition rates in the country. We have fared badly even in terms of female literacy, gender ratio and safety of women and many other social indicators, leading to a drastic fall in the quality of life and outlook for the poorer sections of the state. People may forgive a Government for any ills, save for the absence of Governance. That is perhaps why the BJP and KJP have both been voted out.

I hope they will introspect on this.

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