The People’s Campaign

by Amit Bhushan on Sunday 25 December 2016, 11:17 AM | Category: Strategy| View: 618 views

The People's Campaign

By: Amit Bhushan             Date: 25th Dec. 2016


For those who supported the Common People's party, there campaign in the northern state seems dithering and is a cause of concern. It is important to look into their hits and misses from public point of view and allow for some introspection within as well. Regards the misses, it is rather well documented since the location of the government ensures a rather regular dose of scrutiny by the media as well as political opposition. The party suffered from a proverbial cold feet on the issue of Lokpal and had had to surrender the Anti-corruption bureau as well as any other investigative agency under their command. What were possibly expected is that the RTI activist should have felt emboldened based on the meteoric rise of some of the leaders and led to somewhat greater accountability in other states as well, which don't seem to be the case (and the leadership in Delhi supporting them rise in public imagery).They government in Delhi could have improved tax collection on account of better resource utilization as well as transparency on the back of honesty and some new records being set as fines for violations are actually levied & realized from those violating traffic rules/wrong parking to public drinking to violations of building bye-laws, encroachment of public space and other similar areas. The improved revenues could have gone to create public infra such as multi-level parking etc.

What were also expected that the party could have claim votes on account of improvement in service delivery such as health and hygiene, education and better functioning public services such as Libraries, government office digitalization and streamlining on the back of the same. A far greater support for start-ups including some government contracts in the area of public services wherever the promise seems to be highly impactful. While the government has had some achievements in this area however they are difficult to measure as well as to communicate and therefore not of campaign value. Take the government schools for example; where some effort has gone, however the results may not be of any campaign value. It may be noted that not all steps in the government would necessarily be of campaign value nor is expected to be so unless it wants to lose complete credibility. However some steps like allowing government school students to use tabs instead of paper-books and monitoring of adoption of these tabs could have had given some talking points as well. A further support to students to get access to electronic reference materials either free or for minuscule fee could have helped further. However the leadership seems to be rather focused to making point against some other political persons and parties while spending little dime on improvements especially those that seem to be easily become a talking point. Similarly while the government made some noise around cheaper execution of public works but failed to point out process-gaps that were leading to higher cost or less than optimal delivery, schedule over-runs. It has therefore failed to develop a business case for scalability of these results, to argue better governance delivery for the party.


Then it comes to a lack of a uniform country-wide approach while the leadership jockeys to react to several localized issues based on what would help score local level brownie points even though it pitches its leaders directly against ‘you know who'. The lack of planned and thoughtful approach that is extendable to the whole country based on sound principles and instead the leaders seem to be monkeying for the hot air balloons which are often floated by (other) parties and netas, to make their presence felt on idiot-box rather than finding some ground for themselves amongst public and where they can stay put over a longer duration, whether in victory or in defeat; is the other issue afflicting the leaders. It seems to have abandoned its dialogue commission in states and is on an overdrive to recruit netas who are some known public figures. Regards agenda, the netas tend to latch on to almost everything which is reactionary evolution rather than with some level of planning. It seems to have taken to heart, that netas are only expected to voice some high level non-sense while bureaucrats would be the ones who would draft out detailed policies and implementation plans basis only high level directions from elected representatives. This is while their current experience with the parties and netas seems to be contrary where a winner is expected to have a much better control on detailing as well as implementation. Those failing on this count easily see their prospect dwindle and are seen running for cover towards a different electorate. This is while the news anchor season themselves to ignore such a rush and continue to market the new propaganda and the political opposition keeping its hopes alive by cooking their own chappatis over the marketed issues rather than puncturing holes in the approach. It may have seen that those parties and leaders who stick to puncture the changing political paradigm and rhetoric basis sound analysis, see their sagging stocks rising (the khats and kursis are not getting picked-up any more is a testimony), as well. That should catapult parties to evolve a sound overall extendable approaches rather than continuing with political jugglery of the yesteryears and the commercial news media to become more analytical and raising more questions rather than merely a carrier of the different rhetoric of netas. Such tools of yesteryears to keep kitchen fires burning might see their near complete erosion from the horizon in this social media yug in days to come. Hopefully, the message would drive home. Let's see the game evolve further…           

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