The untold stories of a political process

AP Photo by Altaf Qadri

Less than a month before the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the wedding of a top Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat’s daughter at the Taj Hotel in Lucknow presented senior journalists invited from Delhi with an opportunity to interact with the state’s leading bureaucrats—who are, in Chief Minister Mayawati’s reign, more important than politicians. For a select few celebrity editors, there was even a rare durbar with Mayawati herself, who carefully arrived after the governor had left, presented flowers to the newly married, and proceeded to a barricaded enclosure to meet India’s opinionmakers. I don’t know what the conversation was like, but I saw the journalists’ lips move more than hers.

After the meeting was over, I asked one celebrity TV anchor what he thought the election results were going to look like. He said the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was very strong, and predicted she could win 50 of the 80 seats the party was contesting. The Delhi media’s awe of Mayawati was at a historic peak; they had taken her prime ministerial ambitions seriously. I told this studio journalist that the buzz in Lucknow was that the Congress could spring a surprise. “No chance,” he said. “They don’t have any organisation. Azharuddin is my friend and he called me to say he needs my help. Even a celebrity like Azharuddin is going to lose!” Read More…

10 thoughts on “The untold stories of a political process”

  1. This is like some teaching to NRIs. The people anyways know what is happening and what they can do. This all happening for decades in every region of india and people are aware. Their innocence only matters to political canditates.


  2. Even you are making the generalization that because Dadua is a Kurmi and was being protected by BSP all Kurmis voted for them. A section of them may have done that, but a deeper statistical analysis is required to prove that all Kurmis voted for BSP.


  3. What about western U.P, Shivam? If the media were to be believed, it’s the Ganga-Jumna doab and NCR that has really set up a stalemate between Rahul and Maya. Do you see land acquisition queering the pitch in any way?


  4. I have lots to agree with the arguments of this essay. It is high time to give up the mania for predictions which comes in the way of descriptive analysis of ground realities. In my experience before the last Tamil Nadu assembly elections, I found rural voters closely guarding their secret – their having made up their minds to vote against the ruling party. The voters have come to value their votes; keeping their actual preference to themselves is part of the value of their decision. In fact, many were deliberately painting “unpredictability” picture even as they knew the mood that developed following the 2G scam expose was anti-incumbency. The other part of the value of the vote is in terms of money offered by the parties. People like to appear open minded so that they can take money from whoever offers to pay. One should admit that this is some kind of political sagacity.


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