Yesterday, Congress completed 9 years of (mis?) governance of this nation. Scandals upon scandals, this congress regime knows how to cling on to power at any cost, I guess it is the experience of being in the ruling dispensation for half a century plus years. It uses the CBI to strong arm its UP rivals, the SP and the BSP to survive as well as its Andhra headache- Jagan Reddy. Its management of coalition politics is quite exemplarily. It manages to get an Ajit Singh or a JMM quite easily. Bolstered by its recent win in Karnataka and with anti-incumbency seeping into Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh which are poll ward, the narrative of the demise of the congress party is pre-mature in spite of its weak leadership on all fronts. A Sanjay Jha and a Manoj Tewari can only do so much by screaming on TV debates all the time.
BJP is a house in disarray. It has a national leadership which cannot win in Lok Sabha elections and hardly have any mass base. Narendra Modi, is the best shot at projecting an image of a transformation which the BJP can give the nation. He is a man who has an indication of the pulse of the nation. BJP will make an enormous mistake if it does not project Narendra Bhai as its PM Candidate in 2014.
Internal squabbles are sapping BJP’s strength. BJP has alienated its intellectual edge by sidelining a Yashwant Sinha, Jaswant Singh or an Arun Shourie. And Chandan Mitra is not an effective enough orator to cut Congress’s arguments either on TV or in the Rajya Sabha. A Swapan Dasgupta is too elitist for a Rajnath Singh. Varun Gandhi and Smriti Irani are doing a convincing job of defending the mainstream political right in our political conversation.
The ‘Bharat Nirman’ Campaign of the Congress has the same stink as the disastrous ‘India Shining’ program of the NDA. My personal take as a proponent of a left of centre belief system as far as Indian Politics is concerned is that Mr. Tewari and the Congress are making the same blunder again. There is palpable anger on the streets as far as the feeble leadership of Dr. Singh is brought in the framework of analysis.
Congress will most likely project P Chidambaram or Rahul ji as the PM Candidate. AIADMK, BJD and the MNS will probably support the BJP in case it has the numbers. On the contrary, JDU and JDS will support the Congress. Jagan will end up supporting the Congress in case he has to come out of the jail ever. But my gut feel is that in case of a fractured mandate, Congress with its coalition management skills will come to power atleast with a slice of the power pie. The minorities still believe that the Congress is better of the two mainstream parties. For now, its Advantage Congress in the run up to the polls.