State Assembly Elections, 2011 – A Review!

May 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Affairs

This year, the months of April and May saw one of the most important events of the country i.e.  the State Assembly Elections in four states namely West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Kerala and in the Union Territory of Puducherry. All the political parties tried the tested and tried  policies for wooing the people. But this time most of the tricks did not work, and it was a victory of the Democracy. The people of the states gave a befitting reply to the politicians for their deeds – good or bad. This election resulted in some of the most dramatic results in the history of elections in this country, and these will have a far reaching effects in altering geopolitical contours of the country.

At the same time, this election proved that the people of this country can no longer be taken for granted.

As counting began on May 13, results started pouring in on various news channels and by noon it was clear that some of the most unprecedented upheavals were on their way. West Bengal saw the biggest change in the last 34 years of its existence. The Left had been completely swept aside by Mamta Banerjee’s express train. The Left parties were able to get only 63 seats in the 294 seat assembly, and 225 seats were won by Trinamool Congress + Congress alliance. In Tamil Nadu, it was AIDMK+ that won 201 seats out of 234, and DMK + was left with a humiliating 33 seats in all. Kerala saw a marginal victory for Congress + (UDF), which gained 72 seats out of 140, and Left was a close second with 68. In Assam Congress and allies won 78 seats, with AGP winning on 11. Although, there are some lessons to be learnt in each of these state  elections but the major conclusions and defining statements emerged from two main states namely Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

Let us examine the various states separately to have a clear idea about what reasons were responsible for gain or loss of the various parties.

Kerala

In Kerala, the over all track record of the Left government was good, if not very good. It was just the anti-incumbency factor, and Kerala’s long tradition of changing governments ever 5 years which caused the results in favour of UDF.

Assam

It was Tarun Gogoi’s personal reputation and the works carried out by his government which helped him in winning a third time. Tarun Gogoi was successful in beating the anti-incumbency factor too.

West Bengal

West Bengal saw one of the most striking results where Mamta Banergee swept the elections completely and threw out the 34 year old Left rule. It was a vote for change as well, as 34 years of Left government has left the state lagging behind in various sectors like health, education and industry. It can be seen from the fact that manufacturing share of the state in national output has dwindled to a mere 2.9% in 2007-08 from 11.5% in 1980-81. Similarly, health and education sectors in the state are in a very sorry state. And, when the Left govt. started to accelerate its industrial initiatives, though already very late, the plans backfired. May be it did not approach the whole concept of land acquisition in the right way. The 34 years of Left rule in West Bengal had some positives too – the corruption levels were low, which in itself is a great achievement, and the land reforms carried out by the Left government have set an example of delivering to needy and poor people all across the country. The results, therefore, were a vote for change and we know, it’s a democracy and people have all rights to reject a govt. which has failed on many fronts.

Tamil Nadu

It was a defeat of the political cynicism and corrupt politics. DMK and Congress paid the price for their spoiled image due to number of corruption scandals that emerged in the State. Though, the Karunanidhi government took lot of initiatives for improving industrialization and development of human resource, the 5 years were full of corruption cases for them at the state, as well as at the national level.

All said and done, we can draw the following conclusions:-

  1. These elections showed that people are now more open to support women for top jobs of the state. This is for the second time in the history of this country that we have 4 women as Chief Ministers.
  2. This is a victory for the democracy and good governance.
  3. People can no longer be taken for granted.
  4. Corrupt governments will be given befitting reply.
  5. Political Cynicism is not a right tool anymore.
  6. These results will help in achieving the ideal aim of bipolar system on politics.

Broadly speaking, people have given a strong message to the political parties of this country. The message from the voters of four states and a union territory is clear and bold that corruption, political cynicism, arrogance in any form will not be tolerated and good governments will be rewarded wholeheartedly.


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Ajay Sharma is an Architect & Planner by profession, and is working with a leading multinational company. He is a graduate of NIT and a postgraduate of IIT. In addition to being creative at work, he is a voracious reader, photographer, public speaker and a writer. Since his school days, he has written articles for various newspapers and magazines . He has a blog named expressions and he aspires to become an established writer and motivational speaker.

Ajay Sharma has written 3 articles on The MAG. View all articles by


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  1. Great analysis… Four state elections in just one article! Good job.

  2. Great analysis… It is also worth mentioning that there was a very high turnout of voters in all the four states, which makes the results even more important.

  3. Very nice comprehensive analysis… Links well the current political status of the country to its socio-economic well being.

  4. Very well summed up political turn around of 2011. It’s been good for ladies this time. 4 Lady Chief Ministers this time. Well deserved departure for tired leftists in Bengal and Karuna in Tamilnadu.

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