Corruption, autocracy, Hindutva led to BJP's downfall: Manor

Corruption, autocracy, Hindutva led to BJP's downfall: Manor

Corruption, autocracy and Hindutva led to the downfall of BJP in its southern bastion, according to psephologist James Manor.

Speaking about post-poll analysis of the Karnataka 2013 election on Tuesday, he said the BJP had given a below par government and were also unskilled in covering up their misdeeds.

According to him, corruption and centralisation of power held by the chief minister in the State had created a sense of frustration and intolerance not only in the State’s population, but also within the party workers, resulting in a dissatisfied party work force.

“In the survey by Lokniti, the government got a very poor rating of minus seven, reflecting the distrust and distaste towards the party in the State,” he said.
Other than these factors, Manor believed that the poor enthusiasm with regards to Hindutva in Karnataka had also cost the BJP dearly.

“India has grown with an intolerance towards right wing extremism and though the BJP has realised it and toned it down, they managed to touch some nerves in Karnataka. The takers for Hindutva in the South are very less,” he explained.
He said that Modi’s visit along coastal Karnataka, in addition to his inflammatory speech, resulted in the party losing all their seats in the region.

However, he believed that the electorate had limited options and the Congress winning the election was more of a ‘hit-and-miss’ case. If the administration of the Congress committee was better, the Congress would have seen a far bigger majority in the State, he said.

He was critical of the Congress due to the lack of nerve showed against the rebels within its party and its “disastrous” candidate selection, especially in the greater Bangalore region. “The Congress, today, is in a situation where it would be damned irrespective of it doing right or wrong. The candidate selection process reflects this. It usually results in them taking tentative decisions all the time. Otherwise, there was no reason for the BJP winning so many seats in Bangalore.”

Manor added that corruption, which was one of the reasons for BJP’s downfall, would also be a reason for the downfall of Congress in the forthcoming general elections in 2014. “The Lokniti survey showed 63.5 per cent of the people surveyed expressing dissatisfaction with the BJP in the State, and 63.3 per cent being dissatisfied with the Congress at the Centre,” he said and added that he was confident of the Congess facing a ‘rather humiliating’ defeat in the 2014 elections.

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