Ministers tell Advani: Cong won’t get 100 seats
Speculations are on these days as to what is likely to happen in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to take place in 2014. LK Advani in his latest blog writes about two cabinet ministers' apprehensions about the Lok Sabha elections.
"A fortnight back prime minister Manmohan Singh hosted a dinner in honour of outgoing president Pratibha Devisingh Patil. The function was held at Hyderabad House.
In an informal chat with two senior cabinet ministers before the formal dinner, I could clearly perceive an intense sense of concern weighing on the minds of both these ministers. Their apprehensions were as follows:
a) In the Sixteenth Elections to the Lok Sabha, neither the Congress nor the BJP may be able to forge an alliance which has a clear majority in the Lok Sabha.
b) In 2013 or 2014, therefore, whenever the Lok Sabha elections take place, the Government likely to take shape can be that of the Third Front. This, according to the Congress ministers would be extremely harmful not only for the stability of Indian politics but also for national interests.
My response to the anxiety voiced by these Congressmen was: I can understand your concern, but I do not share it. My own view is:
i) The shape which national polity has acquired in the past two and a half decades makes it practically impossible for any government to be formed in New Delhi which does not have the support either of the Congress or of the BJP. A third Front government, therefore, can be ruled out.
ii) A non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is however feasible. This has happened in the past also.
But, as the prime ministership of Ch. Charan Singh, Chandrashekharji, Deve Gowdaji and Inder Kumar Gujral (all supported by Congress) as also of Vishwanath Pratap Singh (supported by BJP) have shown, such governments have never lasted long.
iii) There has been stability at the Centre only when the Government has had either a Congress or a BJP Prime Minister. Unfortunately, the two Governments since 2004, UPA I and UPA II have both been so badly mismanaged that the current state of anxiety in the ruling establishment is quite understandable.
People generally believe that for the Congress Party, the worst phase in so far as Lok Sabha results are concerned, were the post-Emergency elections of 1977. It would not at all be surprising if the next Lok Sabha elections yield a result which for the Congress may prove the worst in its history since 1952.
Soothsayers predict that it may be the first time when the Congress Party’s score sinks to just two digits, that is, less than one hundred!
The party’s miserable performance in Rae Bareilly, Amethi etc. which have long been regarded as pocket-boroughs of the first family, in the UP Assembly polls held recently and its dismal record in the Corporation elections of Uttar Pradesh where as against the BJP’s score of 10 out of 12 Corporations, the Congress drew a big blank are clear indices of the party’s collapsing fortunes.
So far as the BJP is concerned, the bungling in Karnataka notwithstanding, all recent public opinion surveys clearly reveal that the principal beneficiary of the Congress Party’s fast eroding reputation continues to be the BJP!"