Tragedy of Congress’s Hut Visit Strategy in UP
The UP state assembly election was remarkable for several reasons. Among them is the slap on the face of the Congress party. All other things aside, the performance of the party considering the energy, resources and importance given by it, was not as encouraging.
UP is one of the most promising states in terms of natural resources, land and human resources The State was for the most part, ruled by the Congress party as its own kingdom. But today, people in UP are much enlightened in terms of their rights and their due share and how to achieve what they want. The change is evident everywhere, except in the Congress understanding of the scenario.
Congress lost the game thanks to its imported political management consultants. The more it listens to them, the more they will lose, in the days ahead.
Rahul Gandhi visiting huts and interacting with marginalized sections is an example of an imported strategy. While many, including his political opponents, appreciated the fact that it is best to learn about ground realities from the people themselves, the strategy itself was flawed.
Let’s face it, public expectations have changed. Not only among the people in UP, but elsewhere in India as well. They want changes in their lives, and soon. Playing Gandhi no longer pulls crowds.
In this case, people could not accept Rahul as somebody who would bring about any substantial change. They understood it for what it was: Another political gimmick. There was no point blaming the BSP or Mulayam or BJP for lack of development, lack of electricity, lack of good roads in UP, instead the Congress should have tried to win over hearts by admitting their mistakes and pleading for another chance to rectify rampant ills.
Also, it should have presented a developmental model for UP, but nothing of that sort was really seen.
What must be remembered here is that UP culture and its style are the ilk of Indian culture, incorporating traditional roots with modern developmental thinking.
Organic farming is an interesting example. The number of cows and the amount of cow-dung mountains seen in many part of the state is really amazing as its agriculture sector has not gone much away from organic farming. Still, its industrial hubs located in the NCR region, no doubt stand for the strength of its indigenous manufacturing sector and innovation in Indian industry.
Today, Noida has emerged as an IT hub. Also, Noida’s knowledge parks located in Greater Noida has a number of universities and technical and management institutes. And soon can emerge as its India’s knowledge village, with the kind of infrastructure and facilities available there. The growth the State achieved in some of these areas is really amazing. And more over, infrastructure development and expansion is taking place in UP at a really fast pace. Can the Congress take pride in these achievements? And, surely credit goes to BSP and Mulayam Singh Yadav and no one can deny it?
Whatever the allegations against it, the BSP has managed to empower marginalized sections of society. Today, in Akhilesh Yadav, the new CM, who holds a masters in environmental engineering, a new line of green development in the state can be expected.
But Congress must realize that winning back the UP needs long term commitment and patience. It needs to take advisors who understand the state, people and their developmental needs rather than importing from Harvard and other such places. Knowledge Parks in Noida and its other prestigious universities can very well supply advisors for its winning back UP campaign. Of course, Rahulji should not stop visiting huts and interacting with the marginalized. But it should be continued with follow-up, delivery and action. The question is: Is he going to do it?
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Dr. P Koshy
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||the article is so good.Assertions of indian subaltern castes especially,after the post-mandal period is a very serious concern.the national party and its accommodation politics had got a sever set back.the patron-client kind of politics is no longer possible now.indian political system is more volatile.||
||Very good article......||
||The fact that the UP's young CM holds a master's degree in environment engineering is a guarantee enough for the green development of UP doesn't hold any logic. In India CMs' academic credentials do not really matter. The bureaucratic system rules over everything. The Prime Minister is an ace economist and so is the Planning Commission boss. Have they been able to 'fiscal manage' the country's economy?|
Let us face some bitter facts. India's poverty club is expanding. The economist prime minister has failed to stop outflow of black money. Today, rupee is at its weakest best. The 'aam admi' is reeling under all kinds of pressures. Abject poverty conditions loom large. Our resources have been exploited in a negative way. Even today, every second person in India is illiterate. Thousands of villages still lack minimum healthcare facilities. We face utter shortage of teachers and classrooms. A sense of extreme insecurity looms large in all sections of society. Corruption is order of the day. This is our national scenario.