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Wily Chase

Editorial. Satya Pal Singh. January. VII. XIVIV

 

Rahul Gandhi: Ineffectual


angel and the triumvirate

 

 

Satya Pal Singh - fnbworld By Satya Pal Singh



 

       Gujarat Chief Minister Narender
Modi - fnbworldRahul Gandhi- fnbworldDelhi Chief Minister Arvind
Kejriwal - fnbworld

With Dr Manmohan Singh deciding to relinquish the Prime Minister's office with a heavy heart after the general election, on an express missive from the Congress leadership, to make way for Rahul Gandhi, the poll-2014 is going to be very interesting, perhaps more than any other in the past, right from the Nehruvian times. It's going to be chiefly a triangular contest among the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, last of them being the most potent entry into the poll arena. The dormant third front, as opposed to both the BJP and the Congress, doesn't seem to be on the revival path with the strong and influential regional conglomerates' ambitions running sky high - every leader from Mulayam Singh Yadav to Mayawati, to Jayalalitha, Mamata Banerjee to Nitish Kumar and Naveen Patnaik, wanting to become PM.

 

Accordingly, Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi and AAP's Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, who showed his party's stunning debut prowess through an amazing win in the Capital, would practically be pitted to fight a fierce poll battle among themselves, targeting the coveted prime ministership. The Gujarat Chief Minister and the BJP's PM nominee has been a favourite so far, despite the 2002 riot taint sitting over his head and he has kept going strong, as is evident from the response of crowds attending his rallies. All charges against Modi have proved fallacious after the court verdicts over the sequence of communal violence that followed the Godhra killings.


The expected nomination of Rahul Gandhi for PM's post, probably on Jan 17, Congress circles believe, would give a significant push to the party, whose sails are now abysmally down following its rout in the Assembly polls. It is, however, being debated countrywide, with an element of surprise, whether the projection of Rahul as PM nominee would really make a difference on the ground, as the general perception goes that Rahul has been politically active in full authority during the last couple of years, but has remained dismally an ineffectual angel. From Bihar to UP and, now in four more state assembly polls, Rahul has miserably flopped. Above that, he is perceived to be light weight in public opinion, as he has failed to make any charismatic mark on the people's psyche, either through his speech or actions. The UPA govt's tenacious attempt to protect its tainted Ministers and its failure to check massive doses of corruption in high places, has alongside exposed the party, pointing to the leadership's either direct complicity in the taint or, at least to the lack of its will to correct the dangerous slide, all for reasons of perpetuating the UPA's minority rule. This speaks, all the same, for the party's constant search for dependable partners as 'saviors' of the govt, extending costly compromises to the likes of the BSP's Mayavati and SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav.


Kejriwal’s party has, however, made a significant inroad into the national scene, almost amazingly, on its markedly anti-corruption plank, sharp snub to the traditional 'VIP culture' and a spontaneous "connect" with the "aam aadmi", who appears to be unmistakably identifying its needs with the promised deliveries, practices and programmes of the party, beginning with straight accruals on electricity and water. Significantly, AAP has unfurled its national ambitions, declaring that it would contest a "maximum number of Lok Sabha seats". Encouraged by rare enthusiasm with which the commoners, especially the youth, are wondrously coming forward to broaden the newbie's base, the AAP leadership proposes to contest more than 300 Lok Sabha seats - an amazing feat for a political formation which was non-starter just a year ago. Though Kejriwal has ruled out contesting for the Lok Sabha, it is believed within his party circles that he would soon shed his reservation against the plunge to the Centre-stage. 


It is pointedly argued  by eminent public figures that a "charismatic" leader like Kejriwal is needed at the national level, especially because the Central leaders ruling at present have almost institutionalized their "disconnect" with aam aadmi. Kejriwal is being proposed as an alternative to Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi. AAP leader Yogendra Yadav has said, " It's my dream to see Arvind Kejriwal as PM...he is capable of leading the country." According to another senior party leader Prashant Bhushan, a decision on Kejriwal being proposed for PM's post would be taken only after the Lok Sabha poll. The party insiders feel that a bold projection of Delhi CM could prove to be inspirational for the AAP's Lok Sabha campaign. His candidature, it is felt, would give the party an added momentum and sharply define the alternative it seeks to present. 


Meanwhile, there is a groundswell in favour of AAP, especially in urban areas of the country. Many big honchos, ex-bureaucrats, senior lawyers with proven, impeccable integrity, image and influence have joined AAP as active members, besides thousands making beelines to be accepted as field workers in all states, during the past 10 days. At the same time, hefty donations have been pouring in on daily basis, providing AAP the needed financial stability and the strength of a credible, sustainable social and political phenomenon, cementing its presence on the national scene.  


Though the Congress is taking the AAP's ascend as highly noxious, and is staring at the 'usurpation' of its aam aadmi slogan, yet it is finding solace that the nascent party would at least checkmate the BJP in urban areas, as it did in recent Delhi elections. The Congress party's populist, welfare measures initiated to lure the common men, poor and Dalits, miserably failed to work at the hustings.

 

The AAP's decision to contest the maximum number of seats has, thus, upset the calculations of both the national parties, but main loser may eventually be the BJP which earlier hoped to emerge in absolute majority riding on, what the party called, the 'Modi wave'. By supporting the AAP govt in Delhi, the Congress is cleverly trying to utilize the new party as the second buffer against BJP. Middle classes and the urban poor, closely aligned with the AAP, are giving constant headache to both the Congress and the BJP. This is to be seen how much influence the new party is able to generate, to be able to dent the support bases of the regional parties, which grew in power by generating regional biases in recent times. 


However, as the things stand, there is no possibility of any one stake-holder securing clear majority in general elections. The result could be awfully disappointing for the nation, when the parties would go wily chasing possible coalition partners, with unethical, spiteful promises. Projections of the possible national voting pattern, considering the aspects that are deeply influencing the electorate today, point to the emergence of a fractured mandate and a hung Parliament...Get ready for another national pain..!

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