Tuesday, October 13, 2009

MAHARASHTRA GOES TO POLLS

Guest Post by Anil Mavinkurve


Maharashtra, a great state as the name signifies, was indeed a great state once upon a time. It now rests on its past glory that has been fading rapidly. It is now a poor shadow of itself and states like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have almost become equals.


This is a state that is:


  • in the midst of one of the worst agrarian crisis in the country in recent history

  • afflicted by Naxalism that is making deep inroads in the eastern districts of Gadchiroli and Bhandara districts,

  • affected by massive power shortages, where 80% of the state goes without power for 12 – 15 hours every day,

  • Plagued by large number of irrigation projects initiated and have not been completed for twenty years or more,

  • Vulnerable to external and home grown terrorist attacks,

  • Industry that has gone to seed and cannot provide the basics to attract new investments.

  • Growing social disquiet with caste based inequities and against migration from other states.

  • People crushed under the tremendous burden of sharp price rises.


It would be a “no brainer” to write off the ruling political dispensation and start drafting its epitaph.


Any opposition party would have rubbed its hands in glee and ensured a rout at the hustings. Sadly, they are weak, divided, focused on inane non issues and have endangered their prospects in many constituencies by high command politics.


The Congress-NCP alliance at the helm of affairs for the last ten years has been a case study in masterly inaction with Mr. Vilasrao Deshmukh the head priest of this effort. The picture becomes more sinister when you see the massive corruption, callousness, and utter disregard towards governance.


The Shiv Sena – BJP alliance is going round trying to catch its own tail. Power is theirs for the taking. Will they grab at this opportunity??....I think they might be successful in snatching defeat from the jaws of a certain victory. An angry sibling is most certain to play spoiler once again and split votes to ensure that he still remains relevant.


The BJP does not have any charismatic candidate to lead them. Gopinath Munde seeks to take on the mantle of Pramod Mahajan but unfortunately there is just no comparison. He has in his desperation to ensure Poonam Mahajan’s candidature, endangered at least two seats where BJP were certain victors. Nitin Gadkari, an otherwise efficient administrator, has just not risen to the occasion.


How is Maharashtra going to vote today? It certainly is a big khichdi.


Guessing the voters’ minds is a hazardous occupation and best left to pollsters. We would all like a change, just for the sake of change if not for anything else.


You never know. We may yet surprise everyone and return Congress-NCP back to power and coin a new maxim….”In Maharashtra, you can fool all the people all the time”.


Come October 22nd and our destiny shall be clear.