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ET View: Economy, the winner

For the polity, too, an Opposition staging an extinction rebellion is certainly good news. A healthy democracy needs an Opposition that is not a pushover.

ET Bureau|
Oct 24, 2019, 11.38 AM IST
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Trends suggest a setback for the BJP.
As of now, we only have trends in the results of the assembly elections in Haryana and Maharashtra. The trends suggest a setback for the BJP, probably not big enough to matter in Maharashtra but serious enough to make retaining power dicey for the BJP in Haryana. This is good news for the economy. For the simple reason that a total divergence between the condition of the economy and the popularity of the ruling party tends to make economic performance look politically irrelevant and remove a key incentive for the ruling party to take economic correctives seriously.

Senior BJP leaders might not like to admit this, but campaigning on Article 370, the promise to award Savarkar the Bharat Ratna and a nationwide National Registry of Citizens has clearly not brought in the dividends the party had hoped for. Economic distress – stagnant rural incomes and manufacturing slowdown resulting in job losses – bites, clearly enough. It is a signal that the government should focus attention, at the highest level, on how to set things right. This is good for the economy at large.

For the polity, too, an Opposition staging an extinction rebellion is certainly good news. A healthy democracy needs an Opposition that is not a pushover.

If there is a clear loser, it is the crop of opinion and exit polls, which had forecast a BJP sweep in both states and clearly stand repudiated.

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