By Invitation: Silver linings – Election review

Sameer Wagle

It is said that there is a “silver lining to every cloud”. I have collected below what I see as some random silver linings from yesterday’s election results. Some of them may appear frivolous (and some may be wrong) but this is an attempt to bring some cheer after the election.

1. The consolidation of a scenario where there are two alternative national alliances which can provide relative stable governments without significant horse trading is a big plus

2. Murli Manohar Joshi losing – The IIMs and many of us will heave a sigh of relief.

3. The Left front’s strong showing in West Bengal will hopefully strengthen the hands of Buddhadev Bhattacharya one of the better Chief Minister’s eastern India has seen for a long time.

4. Modi and his Moditva brand of politics has received a setback and hopefully the BJP/VHP hardliners will learn the right lessons from this.

5. Chamling’s SDF winning in Sikkim, Congress performance in Delhi & Pannikar doing reasonably well in Goa – Good governance sometimes pays at least in the smaller states.

6. Some good “non-politicians” have won in these elections – Ex-Police Commissioner Sangliana (Bangalore North), Sunil Dutt (Mumbai), Sandeep Dikshit (Delhi), Navjot Singh Sidhu (Punjab). Time will tell how these guys perform but is an encoraging sign.

7. The Congress+ does have some good guys (relatively) to choose from for the next govt and hopefully many of these will be holding key portfolios – Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram, Sharad Pawar, Jairam Ramesh, Kapil Sibal, J N Dikshit, Ajay Maken, Pranab Mukherjee, Digvijay Singh, S M Krishna, Ashok Gehlot etc.

8. A number of young “family politicians” (most of them well qualified professionals) have won the elections and may bring much needed freshness to Indian politics – Manvendra Singh, Pilot, Scindia, Abdullah, Mehbooba, Sandeep Dikshit, Badal etc.

9. Lastly if the Left front joins the government it may make them more realistic in their approach to reforms since power tends to mderate parties. Also Vajpayee will be the leader of the opposition. This will make it much easier for reforms to sail through the opposition side since he is personally committed to them – both these might make it easier to push through difficult steps like labour reforms!

Disclaimer: Sameer is a venture capitalist as well as an eternal optimist. These views are his own.

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