In less than two months from now, India would have its 18th Prime Minister and the 15th Lok Sabha. One thing that India so different from other countries is that there can be no generalisation of any topics. Anti incumbency is no more a huge factor and one can never predict the way Indian voter will swing. A situation a week ago could be entirely different in the week after as they say " A week is a very long time in Indian politics". For instance, who would have thought that a timid soft spoken Varun Gandhi would hijack the entire campaign of the BJP and become its new poster boy in league with Narendra Modi. So, who do you think our next PM is going to be? My guess is as good as yours.
With each passing day, the national parties seem to be become less relevant. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the Congress led UPA and the BJP led NDA to come back to power.
The Congress has been isolated by all its allies. With the RJD, the SP and the LJP forming a separate front in UP-Bihar, the PMK going with the AIADMK, the NCP growing closeness with the Shiv Sena and the Left, the UPA is divided. It is looking as the BJP was in 2004.The only consolation being forming an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, though the party privately admits Ms. Bannerjee cannot be relied upon. There is another theory that is being speculated. The Congress is looking at 2014 rather than 2009, and wants to sit in Opposition with Rahul Gandhi as the leader of the Opposition to groom him for the top job in 2014.
The BJP which calls itself a party with a difference is a party with differences. The public spat between Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley, and a leadership crisis among its leaders, with the party still not sure of the role of Mr. Narendra Modi, the change of leadership in the RSS and the Varun Gandhi debacle has put the party in tatters. Moreover, it has no issues to fight upon. Mr. Advani keeps on calling Dr. Manmohan Singh as the weakest PM but doesn't have issues to raise upon. The NDA was a grand alliance but now there are just a handful of parties left which may switch sides post elections. The Shiv Sena, the INLD, the RLD, the JD and the SAD are some of them. The BJD gave a googly to the BJP after severing their decade old ties with the BJP.
Inspite of the shape of the national parties and strong reservations against Mr. Advani being the BJP candidate, I still feel the contest should be bipolar- either Congress or the BJP. The Third Front should not come to power. It is a bunch of mercurial men and women who are hungry for power (though this could be said for all). The Third Front has as many PM candidates as the number of its parties. I shudder to think what would happen if someone like Mayawati or Jayalalitha becomes the PM. Have these people any vision for India? Has the third front any common agenda that they agree upon? Do we know what is Mayawati's position on the relationship with Pakistan? How to solve the economic crisis?The Left which till the other day was calling Chandrababu Naidu a corporate dog, doesn't even think for a second to join their hands with him. The Left called the BSP a casteist party is now licking Mayawati's shoes for her support. Mayawati and Jayalalitha cannot see eye to eye and how to expect them to form a united front, though these women would be the first to switch sides and join the NDA or the UPA, opportunism is their only ideology.The Left parties have totally destroyed West Bengal and they would destroy India too. What Common minimum programme would they agree upon? One must read Vir Sanghvi's Counterpoint to see how terrible it would be if the Third Front comes to power.The third front whatever happens should not come to power, who can forget the terrible days of HD Deve Gowda being the PM!
It is very sad that the next election would be fought upon caste, money power, religion and guns. The real issues of development and security and the economy would not be touched. The ideology is dead in Indian politics. It is just that whosoever reaches the magic figure of 272 would be our next PM. India is heading for a period of political, social and economic instability. On a more lighter note, as Barkha Dutt says " Who needs a T20 match when we have the elections to entertain us?" Absolutely agree, these elections promise a nail biting finish which the T20 cannot!!