Assembly Elections – Part 6

As one looks ahead, India’s political and policy future does not look bright. On the policy side, government interference in business is increasing. The ban on cotton exports is one example of where the government is needlessly meddling with the markets. With a budget coming later this week, socialistic handouts are expected to increase under the names of NREGA and Food Security Bill. Religion-based quotas also do not seem to be far away. With a desperate and weakened  Congress, sanity in decision-making may take second place to protecting and prolonging the dynastic legacy.

The BJP also has failed to emerge as a national alternative. Without a mass national leader, without a clearly defined differentiated agenda and without recognisable local faces, it is not winning over the anti-Congress votes. These votes are instead going to a clutch of regional parties where they exist.

These trends mean that India could be back in the 1996-1998 era wherein the Third Front experiments held sway.