Mumbai voted the Congress in, despite 26/11

by Dina on May 16, 2009 · 13 comments

in Indian Culture

Why? It’s an interesting question. One raised by Harini Calamur through a tweet on Twitter -“#indiavotes09 – 26/11 obviously did not impact the elections in Mumbai. Congress clean sweep!”

My hypotheses on why that happened:

  • Perhaps because I feel that the people of Mumbai do not want more fear and hatred and negativity being imposed on us by our politicians. I was so proud of my city and relieved that the terrible event did not spark of the usual Hindu-Muslim riots!  The alternative to the ruling party would have been the right-wing alliance between Shiv Sena and BJP, which would have really played up the Hindutva card. The city said NO.
  • Perhaps because Mumbai doesn’t believe any politician or party could have really avoided it?
  • Perhaps because Mumbai voted for a government for stability and progress rather than for the politics of governance? We want a stable government that can last 5 years rather than an adhoc assembly of parties with mixed philosophies that we do not believe would either last long enough or have the clear mandate to take hard decisions.
  • Perhaps because, as Harini says in another Tweet – my life is better than it was 5 years ago?

What do you feel?

Update: Ajit in the comments mentioned the MNS factor – that they split the votes meant for the ShivSena/BJP combine.  Have seen the numbers now, and that’s actually very true (although I dissed that thought in the comments before seeing the actual numbers – my bad).  So yes, that’s a huge factor too – however I still stand by the other hypotheses too – particularly the one about wanting a stable and progressive government that will not operate out of fear or hatred but embrace diversity.

Harini in the comments, suggests that the BJP campaign had no clear communication plank and that Mumbai is driven by economics and not security.

KK and Sandeep too feel that security (or the perceived lack thereof) was not an issue with voters.

VijayKarthik reiterates the need for a stable government.

Share

{ 5 trackbacks }

India Votes for No Change: Indian Bloggers & Twitter Users React to #IndiaVotes09 Results | Gauravonomics Blog
May 17, 2009 at 12:58 am
Global Voices Online » India Votes for No Change: Indian Bloggers & Twitter Users React to #IndiaVotes09 Results
May 17, 2009 at 1:36 am
India Votes for No Change: Indian Bloggers & Twitter Users React to #IndiaVotes09 Election Results | Gauravonomics Blog
May 17, 2009 at 1:23 pm
Global Voices dalam bahasa Indonesia » India Tidak Pilih Perubahan: Reaksi Bloger dan Pengguna Twitter Pada Hasil #PemiluIndia09
June 1, 2009 at 3:02 pm
Media Channel 2.0 — Blog — India Votes for No Change: Indian Bloggers & Twitter Users React to #IndiaVotes09 Results
October 27, 2009 at 2:36 am

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ajit May 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

I dont agree with this. MNS which fought on the issue of Marathi manus is on 2nd place in 4 seats in Mumbai which lead to division of traditional SS/BJP voters and hence sweep for congress there. Come state elections, you will see major diff. Congress just got lucky there.

2 vijaykarthik.v May 16, 2009 at 5:56 pm

i think the possible reasons thought out sum the feelings that have paved way to the Congress clean sweep, If we look back at Delhi/ Sheila Dixit was brought back to power in the elections after the Delhi Blasts/

people understood the need of the hour, “a stable government” and I personally voted them in for I see potential in the younger cadre, in A.P the 5 years of Congress leadership in the state is marked by corruption that spilled onto TV screens and made news paper headlines, party owned media groups didn’t shy from shoving the camera in the rut, however the common man had no better choice.

Hope the declined margin, and anxious moments remind the state congress to mend it’s ways.

3 Dina May 16, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Ajit – MNS is second. Not First. Amen. Should be interesting to see what happens in the State elections in any case.

Vijaykarthik – i agree – this is going to be a test for the Congress really. But its also a clear rejection of it’s opponents.

4 Sandeep May 16, 2009 at 7:59 pm

26/11 didn’t matter because the Congress quickly defused the anger by removing the CM Vilasrao Deshmukh and the NCP, the home minister. In any case, security did not seem to have played a role in these elections. For Maharashtra, i’d say, wait for another 3 months…the assembly elections.

5 Kk May 17, 2009 at 1:37 am

I agree with those who say security did not play a big role on voting day. Mumbai had a fairly low turnout for the general elections this time any way, especially in South Mumbai where 26/11 happened. So, yea, I doubt folk were voting with terror on their minds.

I don’t think Hindutva will work in Mumbai again, ‘least I hope not. A lot of folk remember the post-Babri riots here and no one wants to see a repeat of that. The new bell on the electorate’s tail will be the Marathi ‘maanus’.

Hope we keep it consistent in assembly elections in Mumbai. I’d hate to see the MNS be a part of the state government.

6 harini calamur May 17, 2009 at 5:56 am

good analysis.
I think that there is one other thing. for the ordinary voter – unlike those who eat at the Taj – death is very real. every day around 11 people die in train accidents. Every day is a struggle against the system, and every day is hard. 26/11 really did not matter. people don’t vote for security – they vote for econocmics. they always have.
And, the Congress – despite the recession, the job losses, and the rest won – because it was perceived as the party of development. In that, the Congress communication of its policy and what it stood for, was better than the BJP’s. The BJP’s campaign was we are not the Congress. The voters response was – so? 🙂

7 Mydhili May 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm

But the poll percentage of mumbai was to low (43%?) to conclude that this constitutes popular thought. Counter-point however is that the poll percentage is way better than 2004 elections. May be the absence of voters is a silent protest of the voters who’ve gone through a lot over the last 5 years.

8 PB May 27, 2009 at 11:36 am

I dont agree with this. MNS which fought on the issue of Marathi manus is on 2nd place in 4 seats in Mumbai which lead to division of traditional SS/BJP voters and hence sweep for congress there. Come state elections, you will see major diff. Congress just got lucky there.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: