Monday, December 8, 2008

Royal Defeat

The Rajasthan verdict proves one thing: God can't win you elections. Particularly not if your CM-candidate thinks she's God. That's the biggest mistake Vasundhara Raje made: she tried to become larger than the party, distancing herself from grassroots workers and more senior members at the same time.

And the verdict was clear. The BJP lost a huge share of seats, and the Congress needs just a few Independents to form the next government. Even more shocking is the fact that a dozen Ministers in Raje's cabinet lost their seats.

The Gujjar-incidents clearly had a role. The BJP won just one seat in the Meena-dominated areas. Meenas are the group that were against reservations for the Gujjars. Sadly for the BJP, the Gujjars just about split their votes between the BJP and the Congress.

The walk to the Governor's residence to submit her resignation will be a long one for Raje: she should think about the importance of being a member of the party and not superseding it (although some people like Narendra Modi can afford to do so). As for the Congress, the Ghelot-led Government has a lot of work ahead.

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