Verdict 2011: The Results

After almost exactly two years, it was the day when lots of votes get counted and political fortunes are decided. This time around, it was the four major states of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Assam, along with Puducherry. All the national political parties had plenty to fight for – some more than the others.

That West Bengal would go the TMC way was a foregone conclusion. It was only a question of how much the Left would be destroyed after 34 years in power. The answer: almost completely. The hard work starts now, and Mamata Banerjee will need to show that she can run a state better than she ran the Railways. The Left still has 40% of the votes in the state.

Tamil Nadu also saw an annihilation that most pollsters had failed to foresee. Jayalalithaa’s AIADMK alliance notched up a 90% hit rate and destroyed the DMK-Congress combine across the state. Obviously, corruption matters and Jayalalithaa did a great job personalizing the impact of the scam on people.

Kerala ended up being much closer than was expected a few months ago. Here too, the corruption issue played a role in denting the final Congress-led UDF’s majority. Assam was a great win for the Congress, with Gogoi winning a third time. He was helped by peace and development, and also by the ineptness of the Opposition parties (AGP and BJP) to officially ally and take a positive message to the people.

So, what are the key lessons?

Tomorrow: The Lessons

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