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HVK Archives: Pondering the poll

Pondering the poll - Mid Day

M.V. Kamath ()
March 7, 1998

Title: Pondering the poll
Author: M.V. Kamath
Publication: Mid Day
Date: March 7, 1998

Now that the elections are over and the results are in, I am
taking the liberty to make some observations. All my own work, as
my friend Behram contractor would say.

The exit polls-all of them a have proved to be grievously wrong
and misleading. Next time around it would be kind and merciful if
we are spared their wisdom.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has turned out to be the
only truly national party, a position once held by the Congress.
There are so many fascists around in country, and they are spread
in every State.

Incumbency has proved to be a major handicap:

Consider the fate of the candidates from the Shiv Sena and BJP
in Maharashtra, the BJP in Rajasthan and Gujarat and the DMK in
Tamil Nadu. If you want to win, don be in power.

But people spared the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) candidates in
Andhra Pradesh, despite the TDP government having taken some
anti-populist measures. Merely shows that the Andhraites are
wiser than their fellow citizens elsewhere.

Hell hath no greater fury than a woman whose party has been
scorned. Najma Heptullah's fine exhibition of hatred against the
BJP merits an Oscar.

The secular Congress in Maharashtra won because it could get the
support of secular Muslim and secular Dalits. In Maharashtra if
you vote for the Congress you are secular, if you vote for the
BJP you are, of course, communal if not fascist.

There are exceptions to this thesis. These from the BJP and Akali
Dal who voted for Inder Kumar Gujral are secular communalists.
That is a new political division.

After saying for days on end that the Communist Party of India
Marxist (CPIM) will not support the congress, Harkishen Singh
Surjeet now says that his party will support it. This is what
is meant by intellectual honesty.

The Janata Dal bit the dust not only in Karnataka but all over
India. That is what is meant by the Biblical saying: Dust unto
dust, unto dust returneth.

The BJP has won the majority of seats in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh and Bihar. There are too many fascists in North India.
We will be saved from them by Sharad Pawar and Jyoti Basu.

Sonia Gandhi has suddenly gone out of the picture. Nobody is
talking of her any longer. The media which made her has dropped
her like an iceberg, which is what she was before entering into
the fray.

Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Robert Vadhera will now be
moth-balled and kept in safe custody till the next elections.

Karunanidhi still does not know what hit him. Nor does Deve
Gowda. There is no truth in the story doing the rounds that the
latter went calling on Ramakrishna Hegde to touch his feet and
ask for admission to the Lok Shakti.

The BJP was considered to have no standing south of the
Vindhyas. The Vindhyas have now been shifted to Sri Lanka, to
prove the truth of the statement.

The dominant characteristic of the elections can be summed up in
one word: hatred. The hatred, however, is directed only against
one party: the BJP.

Everybody else is corrupt. Only one man is clean: Sharad Pawar.

Two Yadavs are controlling 40 seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
That is an illustration of secularism in action.

If the BJP has won anywhere, it is because it has been riding on
the shoulders of other parties like the AIADMK or the Biju
Janata Dal. If Congress has won in Maharashtra, it is because of
the Sharad Pawar magic; not because he was riding on the
shoulders of the RPI or the Samajwadi Party.

Muslim communalism has been transformed into secular
Samajwadism. But don say that too loudly. Such things are
best not discussed.

Pramod Mahajan will henceforth be a little bit more careful
about throwing his weight around. Last seen he was down on the

Since large attendance at election meetings are no guarantee of
electoral success, trucking people to such meetings will now be

Arun Nehru, our amateur psephologist, hasn done too badly at
prophesying. According to him, the BJP and its partners should
have got 238 seats, Congress and its allies 177 and the United
Front 113. He has not been too far off the mark. He predicted
that the BJP would get 56 seats in Uttar Pradesh. That has
turned out to be pretty accurate.

But everybody tripped over the figures for Tamil Nadu, Which, I
suppose, only shows how clever the Tamilians are. Or how

(M.V. Kamath, veteran political commentator, takes on all

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