CEOs of India Inc with business interests in Telangana, hope there is no fractured mandate when the state elections results are declared on Tuesday.
Right now, most CEOs expect a clear mandate, one way or the other. However, most feel that a fractured mandate or even a scenario in which one party manages to just scrape through with a thin majority, would be the worst poll outcome.
The major fight for power is between the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the grand alliance of opposition parties -- Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and the Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS)-- that have all come together with a goal to dislodge TRS from power.
"If there is a fractured mandate then we are done for (as) economic growth will not happen. Any stable government today will be consistent with their policies," says the founder of a leading company from the region. Others agree too. "All political parties today recognise that job and wealth creation is being done by industrialists so they will not stop giving regular power supply and will continue to build on roads and other infrastructure."
A fractured mandate or one where one party just manages to win a thin majority, many felt, will only result in horse trading and growth taking a back seat. Most want any government coming to power to focus on facilitating the ease of doing business with focus more on transparency and less bureaucracy. "Take a simple thing like permissions to raise a high rise building, in Singapore you need five or six permissions at best where as in India, it will be more than three times that, Telangana could perhaps take a lead there and set a good example," says a promoter of a leading company.
He and others also see corruption as still a big challenge and a larger issue to deal with though none of them expect any miracle from any party coming to power.
What is also worrying is the fact that while most leaders realise the cash-strapped situation and mounting debt that any party coming to power would have to deal, they continue to woe voters with doles and promises like farm loan waiver, other concessions, some of it bound to prove unviable. Apart from these, there have also been media reports of cash being used by political parties to lure some voters. How it will dent the outcome, one does not know but the practice, by itself, is certainly worrying. Also, every political party needs to realise in a post GST (Goods and Services Tax) scenario, a state government in India today has limited ability to impose discretionary local taxes with the scope to raise local taxes only confined to liquor, power and property taxes.
Most also feel any government coming to power in Telangana also ought to now look at development and industrialisation beyond Hyderabad. However, many also complain of limited choices despite the new dimension of the emergence of regional leaders in both national and regional parties taking deeper roots. Some were happy on the NOTA (none of the above) option in the elections this time as a way to reject the selection of candidates. While what impact this will have on election outcomes, one will have to wait and watch but as one academician points out. The NOTA option may have some good results in the long run as perhaps at some stage if the number of votes cast under it rise, which could trigger a debate on how we choose and field candidates and back their promises. But then, this may take time. For the moment, it is a wait till December 11th evening, when the votes will be counted.