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We Indians must feel proud for having not only held a successful general election....

May 17, 2009 1:57:18 am

•We Indians must feel proud for having not only held a successful general election,but also giving a vote for stability. While the Election Commission is credited with the polling process,the electorate must be congratulated for the maturity it has shown in opting for serious players and confining the spoilers to the fringes. Voters were intelligent and certainly did not get carried away by tall promises and maximalist positions. But the biggest stories,apart from the Congress’s surprise resurgence in Uttar Pradesh,are the distinction voters have made in Bihar between populist Lalu Prasad and constructive Nitish Kumar and,obviously,what looks like the beginning of the end for the Left Front in West Bengal,and thereby at the Centre.

— Krishna S. Kumar


Clear verdict

•The election results of 2009 are a relief to most Indians. Corporate India in particular,which was worried about a hung Parliament and disastrous policy during the recession,would be particularly pleased by the clear verdict. The Congress’s strong performance means the UPA can technically ignore not only the Left but also erstwhile and troublesome allies — Lalu Prasad and Paswan. If a national consensus appears to have emerged finally,it is against so-called spoilers,whose nationwide rout is a candid message from the electorate. Statistics apart,the collapse of the Left in Bengal and Kerala,the disappointment for the BSP,et al address a major concern of the Indian polity for a decade or so — how to stop the nauseating games and routine horse trading before and after polls.

— Raghu Seshadri


Congress’s task

•It is significant that on the day votes were counted — with news of the Congress returning to power at the centre — you published an article by a French scholar,lamenting the thin presence of Muslims in the show,even though they constitute about 13 per cent of the country’s population (‘Looking for the Muslim MP’,IE,May 16). The Congress is the very centrist,secular party that is largely responsible for that marginalisation of Muslims. Hopefully,with international concern and scholarship at the helm,the Congress will be advised and educated to undo this wrong. The Congress cannot hide behind the BJP; it must empower Muslims and give them a political voice.

— Ghulam Muhammed


Signal for Maya

•Mayawati by now must have realised that statues and memorials will not win her elections. The BSP’s poor performance — in the sense that the party won much fewer seats than it had expected to,than had been predicted — should be read as a warning by the UP chief minister. People care most about development and things like education and health. They are fast tiring of stale identity politics. If Mayawati doesn’t change course,the Lok Sabha verdict in UP will turn into a verdict on the BSP government in the state in due course.

— K.P. Udayabhanu Delhi

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