Does politics of social transformation have a readily available checklist of what needs to be done in the sphere of political institutions and practices? Or, at the very least, does it have a robust sense of the direction in which to move? I wish to suggest that such an agenda is not available, even in the minimal sense of the term. The present essay begins by defending this suggestion and exploring why we find ourselves in such a sorry state.
Print In late Novemberamid rising agrarian distress, thousands of farmers from nearly organisations across the country marched to Delhi to demand a special session of Parliament to address issues including higher and guaranteed government purchase price for their produce and freedom from indebtedness, including a total loan waiver.
Despite a hike in government purchase price for kharif monsoon and rabi winter crops this year, there has been almost no evidence on ground of the benefit to farmers. Yadav, 55, led one of four contingents of farmers, from Bijwasan on the Delhi-Haryana border, to parliament during the recent farmers march.
Yadav is also a working group member of the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, an alliance of farmer organisations, under whose banner the march was organised.
The Committee developed the Kisan Mukti [farmer freedom] bills addressing farm indebtedness and guaranteed remunerative government purchase price after long deliberations over major issues affecting farmers across the country.
In AprilYadav was expelled from the Aam Aadmi Party along with three other members, but soon after, co-founded the Swaraj India party in October In an interview with IndiaSpend, Yadav speaks about the challenges faced by farmers, the impact of the current round of state assembly elections on the upcoming parliamentary election, and the future for Swaraj India as it prepares to offer an alternative political vision.
How does a young party like Swaraj India plan to achieve this vision, given the reluctance of politicians and bureaucrats to devolve power to local governments? We have already witnessed how this can play out, in Delhi.
This requires creating a political constituency for decentralisation of political power. While presence of various opposition parties and regionalisation of politics since the s ensured political pressure, this was not comprehensive. There was concentration [of power] at the state government level, but the challenge of centralisation remains at the district and lower levels.
We are engaged in politics of social movements, most of which are localised. This is a long-term project and one must not expect any overnight success.
What mistakes did the Aam Aadmi Party make?
How would you avoid these with Swaraj India? We have systematically avoided personality cult in the party, created an ideological policy document and created an organisation with internal democracy and transparency.
We are the only political party that welcomes Right to Information and imposed it on ourselves before anyone else did. People can turn around and ask us if we have been successful even though we have followed these principles, and the fact remains that we have not achieved that sort of [electoral] viability.
It is only when we can achieve a modicum of [electoral] success in the eyes of the people, along with maintaining these principles, that we can make a true claim of offering an alternative. We are many steps away from that. Although this happens to be the first general election for Swaraj India, it is an extraordinary and unique election because the challenge today is to save the republic.
If we approach this election as a regular election where every political party is concerned about the market share it would grab, then we would be losing sight of the larger historic challenge.
We, as a party, have decided that we will put all our energy into the larger objective of defending the republic even if it means leaving our own electoral interest behind. We are coming out with an agenda of the real issues that must be raised and we would raise a volunteer force for it.
They will not be just at the service of the party but at the service of defending the republic. So, are you open to working with other opposition parties in a coalition, considering the massive task you have set for yourselves? In our understanding, the mahagathbandhan [grand coalition of Opposition parties] is not an answer to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Only reason why we need to step in is that while the mahagathbandhan has numbers, they do not have an alternative [vision] for the country that can generate hope.
So, there is a dual objective. We are not a part of the mahagathbandhan in any sense. What, in your view, may prompt farmers to vote for the BJP, the incumbent for several terms in these states?
As of now, I would not conclude that BJP is ahead as these are pre-election surveys. The post-poll survey will provide a more robust picture.
For me, the correct way is not to measure if the BJP is ahead of the Congress or not. We need to look at the swing away from the BJP compared to the situation in the last election, or two years ago, among the farmers and the general population.
I would not assume that the farmers are with the BJP. Based on my travels, there is enormous resentment against the BJP. We should await the post-poll survey, and of course, the election results to assess the situation.
Due to cow vigilantism and slaughter bans in several states, farmers have been reluctant or unable to sell their livestock, releasing them in the open instead.Expelled Aam Admi Party leader and President of Swaraj India Party, Yogendra Yadav, on Sunday said that his party will not be a part of the proposed grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan) of opposition parties for the Lok Sabha elections.
Yadav, however, noted that the notice was also a political vendatta against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). "Of course its vendetta. But a party that took on the entire political system should have known better. YOGENDRA SINGH YADAV Education M. Phil. Political Science, Department of Political Science, Panjab University, Chandigarh, (with D.
L Sheth) ‘Editor’s introduction’ to Electoral Politics, eds. D. L. Sheth and Yogendra Yadav, New Delhi: Sage Publications (forthcoming) Party system and electoral politics in the Indian states.
Yogendra Yadav's Article on Party System Essay FROM HEGEMONY TO CONVERGENCE: PARTY SYSTEM AND ELECTORAL POLITICS IN THE INDIAN STATES, Suhas Palshikar and Yogendra Yadav The challenge of theorizing the party system in India at the state level has never been felt as acutely as it has been in the last decade or so - Yogendra Yadav's Article on Party System .
General Elections Yogendra Yadav Interview: ‘A mahagathbandhan is not an answer to the BJP’ On the farm crisis, demonetisation and his party’s plans for its first general elections next. A two-party system is a form of party system where two major political parties dominate voting in nearly all elections.
As a result, all, or nearly all, elected offices end up being held by candidates chosen by one of the two major parties.