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Alternative Agenda for Development and Progress

Author: Prahlad Singh Shekhawat
Published Date: 5 November 2012

Prahlad Singh Shekhawat

It is widely believed that elections in India are won more on the basis of personalities, caste allegiances, tactical alliances, anti incumbency and issues of religious sentiments. Governance, development and voice of the poor which are also factors but conventionally considered less significant, played a major role in the win despite anti-incumbency and the impact of the global crisis. Especially National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) implemented by the UPA government mainly because of the pressure from social movements and civil society is widely considered to have favored the Congress victory. This has defied a conventional wisdom or myth that rural development and pro poor programs are not worth investing because due to corruption the benefits do not reach the poor and also because the poor only vote with their caste allegiance, such programs do not yield much electoral dividends.

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