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Letters to The Editor — June 5, 2024

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Now, the verdict

There are three very welcome developments that have arisen from the 2024 Lok Sabha verdict. First, we will now have a very strong Opposition that has been eluding us for many years. Second, the Bharatiya Janata Party government will have a chance to find the positives from a coalition. Third, as a nation, the electorate has attained a maturity that is becoming scarce in even established democracies elsewhere. The people of India have spoken and have authoritatively pushed to the front, issues that are at the very core of their concerns. This will help the government in course correction.

R. Narayanan,

Navi Mumbai

Using the power of his vote, the Indian voter has shown who the real boss is in India’s democracy. The ‘my way or the high way’ style of governance was clearly not acceptable.

Devadas V.,

Talap, Kannur, Kerala

The INDIA bloc has shredded the exit poll ‘results’ and will step into the 18th Lok Sabha as an effective and robust Opposition unit. The Prime Minister has to shake off the spirit of brute strength and work for the benefit of all sections across India.

Rajamani Chelladurai,

Palayamkottai, Tamil Nadu

The election results have defied what most exit polls had predicted. There is now ample opportunity to revive parliamentary sovereignty which was in peril under the shadow of the executive dominance. It would be prudent now to ensure that there is effective deliberation in Parliament and decisions taken by consensus. There was too much centralisation and a polarisation which had to fail in a diverse society such as India. The regional parties are back in the fray and their support has become inevitable now.

M. Rishidev,

Dindigul, Tamil Nadu

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a great personality.. His approach to ensuring the welfare of the nation was that of a sincere saviour. He was bold in his decision and solved many a problem. A third term for him points to the success of democracy in India.

A.J. Rangarajan,

Chennai

The much-awaited election results which sees the resurgence of the Opposition, augurs well for Indian democracy. That allies will have a major say now in governance will help keep the government in check. That there will be considerable debate and discussion in Parliament with more space for dissent is welcome. The people’s verdict has now effectively stemmed the country’s slide into authoritarianism. The ruling party’s below-par showing in the electorally crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, where it pulled out all stops to improve its 2019 performance and resorted to unabashed religious polarisation, holds a lesson for its leadership — voters cannot always be swayed by religious rhetoric. The Congress seems to have stirred from its slumber. With its allies, the Congress seems to have dented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral invincibility and made the INDIA bloc a force to be reckoned with.

M. Jeyaram,

Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

The verdict is clear: India will now have a strong Opposition. One hopes that the Opposition performs as a responsible Opposition this time.

Sravana Ramachandran,

Chennai

Another lesson from the verdict is the performance of the ‘exit poll agencies’ that gave the NDA ‘a resounding majority’. It is apparent that they wanted to curry favour with the powers that be and be on the side of the winner. The extent to which so-called independent media agencies have been compromised is unfortunate. The BJP may scrape through but if the party has any sense it must learn a lesson from these polls and not to take the Indian people for granted.

S. Kamat,

Mysuru

The election results have spoken volumes about the collective voice of the people against dictatorship and single-man rule. It is evident that the new Prime Minister will be compelled to pay heed to diverse voices and perspectives, embrace inclusivity and reject the notion of “my way or the highway” style of governance. The election results are a strong reminder that in a democracy, people can act as a check against any unbridled authority. The electorate’s verdict is not merely a rejection of governance driven by communalism and hate speech, but a resolute call for leadership that respects and upholds the principles of pluralism.

Allan Joshua E.,

Coimbatore

Belying all exit poll predictions, the results prove beyond an iota of doubt that the policies of the decade-long NDA government have not enthused voters at all. The BJP, as the dominant partner of the NDA, and its leader, Narendra Modi, have much to learn from the present verdict. Building temples and statues are not enough to meet the aspirations of the Indian people. They crave for gainful employment and improvement in the standard of living, which have been casualties under the present dispensation. The verdict also drives home the point that communal and casteist propaganda has very limited appeal. The overconfidence shown by the BJP’s leaders, especially the Prime Minister, and its belittling of the Opposition’s leaders also proved costly to the NDA. There has never been an instance of the Prime Minister offering guarantees in his own name and assuming himself to be a superior power. The verdict also shows that the leader of the ruling alliance will have to be more democratic and accommodative, unlike in the past. There will also be a strong and vibrant Opposition, with a recognised Leader of the Opposition after five years. The Opposition’s views can no longer be bulldozed.

All said and done, the Indian voter can legitimately feel proud that there will be a fresh breeze blowing across democracy with a participative government at the centre. Its policies will also have to be tailored to meet the aspirations of the common man.

Balakrishnan M.K.,

Tatamangalam, Palakkad, Kerala

The ‘media campaign’ that the NDA would have a landslide victory faded. The INDIA bloc put up a marvellous fight despite the calculated moves by the NDA to stymie its progress. The people of the country have voted differently and have proved that attempts to woo voters with gimmicks and on communal lines will not be rewarding in the long run. The verdict by the people of the world’s largest democracy is sure to initiate debates on the changed mindset that materialised in such an unexpected scenario.

Jiji Panicker K.,

Angadickal, Chengannur, Kerala

What the results prove is that for all their prophetic pronouncements, every single exit poll was proved wrong. It has proven right the maxim, “Man appoints but God disappoints”. Why would the public confide to these pollsters who they voted for?

H.N. Ramakrishna,

Bengaluru

The election results are definitely a victory for democracy in the country. The silent majority has, once again, demonstrated its maturity and ability to administer course correction. It is strange that all the exit polls have proved to be so widely off the mark. Was there a motivated attempt to mislead Indians? The sudden spurt in the stock market, especially in some stocks, immediately after the exit poll, makes one suspect whether money power did play a role.

Manohar Alembath,

Kannur, Kerala

There has been a race among pollsters to project, through various media channels, a landslide victory for the BJP-led NDA combination. The people of this great democratic country were misled by these unreliable and unscientific projections. Even the stock market surged. It seemed to be a deliberate attempt and a part of the psychological games being played by the ruling party to dent the morale of the INDIA bloc.

S.K. Khosla,

Chandigarh

Those who curated the exit polls, which predicted an overwhelming majority for the BJP-led NDA government in the general election 2024, should call it a day or exit. Their ways of selecting the sample population, interpreting the data and conclusions have left a lot to be desired. One feels that the media which was engaged in this exercise, wasted its time and labour.

S. Ramakrishnasayee,

Chennai

The results have, in no uncertain terms, vindicated the maturity of the Indian voter. The BJP played every dirty trick to hold onto power which included attempts to communally polarise voters with spiteful utterances by none other than the top leader himself. It is high time that the powers that be realised that the core issues which affect the people are not Mandir-Masjid or Hindu-Muslim but inflation, unemployment and poverty.

Syed Sultan Mohiddin,

Kadapa, Andhra Pradesh

It is time to ban this exercise of an exit poll. The manner in which the Sensex has behaved is cause for concern. . After all, whose money is it? The elections should also be held in cooler months of the year. So many voters were affected by the heat.

Balachandran Nair P.K.,

Elakollur, Konni, Pathanamthitta, Kerala

The BJP’s electoral showing in Uttar Pradesh was due to constant bluster and obtuse methods of dealing with law and order. The ‘rule of law’ and ‘due process’ have to be fundamental in any government’s policy in a democracy. Any undermining of these is violative of the Constitution of India.

M.V. Sridhara,

Mysuru

It is exciting as this election has shone the spotlight on India not only as an opportunity to present recent improvements but also to showcase its massive scope for growth. The election also shines a light on India as a rising star built on democracy. The voters have decided that they will not be taken for granted. They want democracy to flourish in this country. The way the Opposition parties came together and pushed this narrative about the issues that matter in daily life seems to have resonated. Democracy stood up to many stern tests.

C.K. Subramaniam,

Navi Mumbai

The BJP alliance may have won but has received a huge shock. The message is clear — voters expect decorum and decency and the majesty of democracy to be maintained. Debates and discussions should be allowed freely and the quality of such debates in Parliament need to be maintained. Voters expect both the ruling and the Opposition combine to ensure this by displaying exemplary behaviour on the floor of the House. The Centre should desist the temptation to go in for vindictive action and divisive policies. India should be known not only as the largest democracy but also the best.

S.V. Venkatakrishnan,

Bengaluru

The 2024 election results have been quite contradictory to the exit poll ‘predictions’. The results are thrilling. The “one man” party which was sloganeering for 400-plus seats could be at the mercy of its allies. If the same foul tactics of the BJP are adopted by the INDIA bloc — in engineering defections in rthe NDA — what would happen! Had the BJP concentrated on people’s livelihood issues during its governance for the past 10 years, this situation would not have arisen. The election results should be taken as a warning by the incoming government not to act autocratically and dictatorially, and to concentrate on livelihood issues.

D. Sethuraman,

Chennai

It has been a nail-biting thriller, with surprises and shocks all through. But one aspect that clearly comes out is the fact that, by and large, people have chosen good candidates over parties. This is quite a positive sign. The results have been a mixed bag. In a nutshell, the people of India have expressed an intelligent and thought over verdict.

Vijay Shekhar,

Chennai



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