Thursday, September 4, 2008

If numbers could win elections…

If winning elections was all about number crunching, the UPA government should have a cakewalk when Lok Sabha polls are organised in a few months time. Here is how the numbers stack up. The Sixth Pay Commission has delivered a bonanza to about six million employees (Voters) and their families. Very soon, close to 15 million state government employees will get the same bonanza. That adds up to more than 20 million ‘happy’ voting families. Assuming each family has at least two voters, Congress spin masters can conjure up scintillating visions of 40 million votes falling into their laps.

That’s just the beginning of the march towards statistical bliss. The ‘never before’ farm loan waiver bonanza is worth a staggering Rs.70,000 crore (Rs.700 billion) and it ‘statistically’ promises relief to about 50 million farmers and their families who can now stop committing suicide and start thinking of what to wear when they and their family members line up at polling booths. That works out to another magical 100 plus million votes tumbling into the outstretched ‘hand’ of the Congress.

Wait. There is a lot more. The mother of all doles – the NREGA – has been unleashed in all districts of India with a ‘statistical’ promise of providing 100 days of ‘paid’ work to all poor people in each district. This masterstroke of political posturing should persuade another 50 million starving Indians and their families to start making a beeline for polling booths come elections. For ecstatic Congressmen, that should translate into another 100 million plus votes in the bag. Then there are old allies like Lalu Yadav and new allies like Mulayam Yadav who promise to deliver their own ‘statistical’ magic. By stubbornly insisting that SIMI should not be banned and that its India loving cadres not be harassed, the Congress and the UPA spin masters can conjure up visions of yet another statistical harvest of about 70 million votes.

Lo and behold! The Congress and the UPA is poised to pull off a ‘statistical’ coup and get 300 million votes during the next Lok Sabha elections. So why is there a sinking feeling that these statistical probabilities will remain a dream for the Congress? For the simple reason that voters are tired of posturing without any substance and promises without any delivery. Most of the 20 million odd government employees will ensure that debt riddled farmers and poverty ridden Indians do not get the money and relief meant for them. And do you think the ‘babus’ will vote en masse for the Congress?

Just one example will show how this regime is all about posturing. The non-officer ranks of Indian Armed Forces wanted a ‘military’ pay of Rs.3,000 per month. They were given Rs.2,000 instead. The additional Rs.1,000 would have cost just Rs.1,000 crore more a year-a mere drop in the ocean of largesse. But then, since the Jawans cannot form unions, pressure groups and threaten the state, why care about them?


No comments:

Post a Comment