THE BJP’s win is not really surprising because the trend, started in 2014, has generally continued. The urban voters are still not prepared to shift allegiance from BJP leaders. And let’s not forget that the BJP poured in a lot of money into these elections by bringing in new people in the party — for instance Sanjay Kakade. While we may have a difference of opinion on people like him, he would have brought in a lot of resources for the party. NCP didn’t really have much of a chance right from the beginning because now even at the state level it’s seen as a party on the down slide. There was no reason why the people would go away from the earlier verdict and vote against the BJP. But having said that, I have to admit that I am surprised at the scale of the BJP victory. I thought they would just scrape through and that NCP would give them a befitting contest. At least in Mumbai, Shiv Sena has got that from the BJP, as both ran neck-to-neck, but in Pune the NCP failed to do that in entirety.
As to why demonetisation did not work against the BJP: First, all the affects had subsided till now and second, as it is people in Pune were not so vehemently against the move. They had accepted the argument of the BJP government that it was a good move to curb blackmoney. So this verdict is really an expression of people still wanting to give Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party a chance. They still feel that he wants to do something good for the country. They have waited for two years for it to happen and are willing to give it another two years, at least. Basically, its an affirmation of their support and belief in him.
I can’t say how this win will shape up for Pune as a city. At the most, it will probably mean better coordination between the state and the civic body. This may bring in more projects and money to the city but, to be fair, they came in during the NCP rule too.
What is really needed are infrastructural projects that would help the city. Schemes like Smart City and Demonetisation don’t really do anything for the city at the ground level- they are more of cosmetic changes. But maybe it may help the functioning of the PMRDA. The writer is a political analyst