Though, as a BJP supporter, I took the election results with a tinge of disappointment this time, I was not at all shocked with the results in the same way as I was in 2004 when UPA pipped NDA at the hustings. If one sees the party-wise seats tally & the vote share including gains & losses, I feel THE INDIAN VOTER IS CLEAR & MATURED. The voters, in general, have voted for a stable government at the centre & have shown that they are willing to back the party which they perceive is capable of governing the nation without distractions of coalition politics.
According to me, following are the take-aways from the results of the General Elections 2009:
1. By voting for Sonia Cong. to win 205 seats within an overall UPA tally of 260+ (almost near the half-way mark), people have clearly indicated that they want STABILITY. By trouncing most of its UPA partners, voters have given the mandate to Sonia Cong. to rule the country without coalition troubles like last time.
2. BJP need not feel dejected or take any knee-jerk reactions. Though its own seats, along with that of its NDA coalition, have come down from last time, BJP can take heart from the message given by the electorate. Since the Indian voter wants a stable, preferably a single party Govt. to rule, by voting for Sonia Cong., BJP should now strive to play a constructive role in the opposition, which will prove to the electorate that BJP is a responsible alterative to Sonia Cong., in case they want to change their preference in the next elections. So, BJP should not indulge in opposing the Govt. just for the sake of opposition - like they did by opposing the Nuclear Deal. If BJP feels the Govt. has taken a right policy decision which is good for the country, as a responsible opposition party, they should vote along with the Govt. for such issues.
3. Sonia Cong. can take heart from the results that many of its policies and programmes have the support of the people but should be careful to not become complacent or over-exhuberant by inviting dictatorial tendencies. I think, the presence of Dr. Manmohan Singh, as the Prime Minister, should help the party here as he has shown to be a level-headed individual & seems to have the full backing of Sonia too.
4. I think, overall the Indian Democracy is getting matured. From several decades of single party rules (1950s, 60s) to voting a party based on emotional issues (1984) to an era of coalitions (since 1989 till now), the Indian Democracy has come a long way. The electorate is learning the ropes by trial & error. Now, they are learning that voting for coalitions may not be the only answer to single party dominance. I think going forward, Indian Democracy may begin to see the emergence of two party rule - at least at the national level. What I mean here is, the Indian electorate will have two parties (Sonia Cong. vs BJP) to choose from than two coalitions (UPA vs NDA). That will be better for the country as whichever party is voted to power will have a stable rule & people can judge them on their own merit. In case they don't deliver the goods, there is an alternative of another national party for the people to choose from in the next election, which will make the party in power to behave responsibly & deliver good governance.
All in all, even if one is not a UPA or Sonia Cong. supporter, one need not despair with the outcome of this election. Issues like Swiss bank money, corruption, etc., I am sure, can be & will be tackled in the long run.
Here is wishing Dr. Manmohan Singh all the best to give a clean & good government which fast tracks the stalled economic reforms & makes sure to strengthen India's security & anti-terrorism measures.