Poll performance

This refers to ‘Reality check for BJP’ (October 25). The recent results of the Maharashtra and Haryana State elections have once again proven that Parliament and Assembly elections are completely different ball-games, and nationalism matters little in State elections.

The BJP was gung-ho about winning 220-plus seats in Maharashtra and 75-plus seats in Haryana, but it only managed to cross the line in Maharastra and will have to bank on independents. Five months ago, the BJP won all 10 seats in Haryana and 23 in Maharastra during the general elections; it has slipped significantly in these State polls.

With the Shiv Sena’s excellent performance and the BJP’s dependence on it, the former will bargain hard to get its pound of flash. In Haryana also, independents — mostly of whom are rebel BJP leaders — will play it tough. There are multiple reasons for the below-par performance of the BJP. Issues at the grassroots level such as farmers’ woes and unemployment could not be ignored. The Jats consolidated against the BJP in Haryana while the cooperative sugar belt rallied behind the NCP’s Sharad Pawar.

The BJP must take this as a warning signal that good governance and sound economic performance cannot be substituted. The party can still correct course and be more humble in its approach.

Bal Govind


Election lessons

Apropos the editorial ‘Reality check for BJP’ (October 25). There are quite a few lessons for BJP arising from the results of Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana: Narendra Modi’s personal image and magic does not work so well in State elections, where local issues and quality of State leadership matters more.

The BJP’s habit of predicting wins by large margins needs to controlled. Too much of publicity may create an exaggerated aura of invincibility. No enemy should be taken lightly; the power of voter preference has unexplored dimensions unknown to the ruling party.

Poaching candidates from other parties just before elections is a risky strategy and may cause internal friction, which can lead to subtle sabotage.

YG Chouksey


MSME growth

Apropos ‘MSMEs missing out on mentorship’ (October 25). MSMEs do need expeditious funding, and that many of them do not take off for lack of timely finance is true. It is also an often unstated fact that at the first sign of firm-footing, the proponents start diversion of funds to feather their own nests. The information asymmetry existing in MSME financing often handicaps bankers. The cause for failure for many MSME units is an overriding ambition to grow big in a short period of time.

A serious apprenticeship probably would enlighten entrepreneurs about the pitfalls which lead to failure. Alternatively, MSMEs should be aim modestly, go for loans under government schemes (often large enough), grow slowly and not be avaricious. Merely pointing fingers at bankers and other financial institutions may not be realistic.

Anandeswaran AK


Business guides

This refers to ‘MSMEs missing out on mentorship’ (October 25). The reason why MSMEs are not experiencing a break-out growth even when they are well-funded is the lack of mentorship which could guide the ventures in the right direction and help with crisis management, fund raising and marketing problems.

Start-ups in Israel are appointing mentors to be a part of their business journey and help them avoid dubious decisions which may lead to loss. Further, the mentors guide the entrepreneurs on the subject of new-age funding through angel investors, crowd-funding and venture capital. The mentor also identifies the entrepreneur’s status through SWOT analysis and helps in bridging the gaps. Thus, mentorship for MSMEs is a must. Successful businessman must come forward to serve as guides and give pragmatic guidance to new entrepreneurs, so that failure of MSME ventures could be avoided.

NR Nagarajan