3. The results are a vote for "reforms" and the Congress-led UPA should, therefore, fast forward "reforms": The Congress benefited from a rise in rural incomes and prosperity driven by growth in agriculture, an area that is least touched by reforms. It also benefited from measures that "reformers" relentlessly fought: NREGA, the farm debt waiver, the Sixth Pay Commission award, an increase in subsidies and OBC quotas.
The one formation that lost heavily from its attempt to push through "reforms" was the Left in West Bengal which tried to usurp farm land in order to push ahead with industrialisation. (SEZs are an important item on the "reforms" agenda). It is fair to say that the UPA benefited from measures associated with the Left while the Left lost because of measures associated with the "reformers'!
And a follow-up: A cohesive and stable government?:
I do hope good sense prevails in the Congress and the finance portfolio stays with a politician and doesn't go to a technochrat. It wasn't the pro-reform brigade that helped the Congress do well in the 2009 elections, it was the solid political instincts of the Gandhi family, much of which goes against the spirit of "reforms".