Just 21 days left for the general elections Politics And God’s Infinite Mercy A Last Resort
All parties, whether national or regional, are frantically trying to achieve their different objectives with the General Election round the corner. All aim to be in power, singly, or in coalition. In fact, more parties have entered into pacts, even national parties the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—although Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by a highly ambitious Arvind Kejriwal has the pretensions of being a national party has had no pact.
But it need not. It is hardly a secret that Congress and AAP would help each other, if needed. Rumours are that Congress, resigned to its fate of not crossing 60 or 70 seats, would help AAP to get as many seats as possible and stop Modi in reaching the magical figure of 272 or anywhere over 200.
Coming back to the state of parties, on the surface it seems Modi is far ahead of any other leader or party. All surveys affirm this and the number of defectors from other parties joining it, is astounding. It’s really unprecedented and is a sign of these rebels of being utterly confident that Modi is the only one ,who can lead them to the victory post. Before one analyses the state of each party, one must note that all the parties have single star campaigner. Narendra Modi for BJP, Rahul Gandhi for the Congress, Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress Party, Nitish Kumar for JD(U), Mulayam Singh for Samajwadi Party (SP), Jayalalitha for AIADMK, Udhav Thackrey of Shiv Sena and Raj Thackrey of MNS and Naveen Patnaik for BJD. In NCP, on the surface it appears that there are three, but the main is Sharad Pawar.
This boils down to the fact that the leader who has the stamina, perseverance, a good organization and cadre to back him, would be an effective campaigner. Also the youth who constitute 65 per cent of voters, is technically savvy. He is in a hurry and would like assurance that a leader as promised would deliver. The combined cadre of Baba Ramdev and of RSS is three lakh. Baba along with his workers covered each and every household in Delhi East. Such a large workforce has helped Amit Shah, to assign 10 workers for each polling booth in UP.
Then, Modi’s team of young and highly technical experts has been devising means to reach Modi to maximum number of people. Chai par Charcha would never have been successful but for this team’s technical support for Modi to reach 15000 people.
The benchmark for assessing the state of a political would be to measure, if its leader is competent and, has untainted reputation, especially he has no bad baggage of involvement in corruption and scams.
A clinically clean, untainted Modi, apart from being a menacing threat to the corrupt, is largely seen as the decisive leader. One great anti-Modi hope, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which won the public by its crusade against corruption has imploded on its own with its daily dose of shenanigans and lies. A former RAW officer RSN Singh has totally ruined the credibility of Kejriwal by writing the comprehensive and incisive cover story under the title Kejriwal—India’s biggest scam in this issue of Uday India. It also affirmed the accusation of founding members of AAP that Kerjiwal was a CIA agent. Singh through a flow chart, listed the companies, who have donated tracing their links with the CIA. He said everything was backed by documents. An inquiry is also on about the legality of foreign donations he has received. Quite a few cases have been filed against him one of criminal defamation by Nitin Gadkari and 100 million suit by Anil Ambani.
This government is not going, for obvious reasons, to take any action and let a party with reported links with the CIA grow and become a danger to the security of the country. In fact, if the Congress needed its help to form the government, it wouldn’t hesitate in letting it be part of it. The Congress Party would in that case be as anti-national as AAP. If someone files a PIL, the whole reality would be on the street. In any case with such exposures, one does not expect AAP to go beyond double digit. A self-declared clean man tainted with the worst kind of corruption!
Precisely for the same reason, people recognize and appreciate the rise of Narendra Modi in a dynasty-infested political landscape. His lack of pretention and no-nonsense approach towards vital issues of national importance, immediately resonate with the young and first time voters. These young generally come from middle class and sheer dint of hard work and an iron indomitable will against well-heeled, well-entrenched, and well-connected competitors and detractors. In a way, to this section of the electorate, Modi represents the talented and industrious underdog, who is finally getting his due on the national stage after decades of vilification.
Now when asked about their views on AAP, people surveyed said they were cautiously optimistic at the beginning, but ultimately were let down by the constant agitation and turmoil with very little focus on governance. Even the most die-hard supporters of AAP admit that the party has become a circus and is fast hurtling towards disintegration. The upper middle class and the educated are aghast and agitated at the number of former Maoists (eg: Sabyasachi Panda) and individuals with marked separatist tendencies (eg: Kamal Mitra Chenoy) who are jumping onto the AAP bandwagon to lend a facade of credibility to their anti-national goals in the name of political diversity, free expression and of course “secularism”.
With AAP’s Prashant Bhushan, reportedly lending support to every anti-Indian group, be it Kashmiri separatists or the Church-driven anti-Kudankulam clique reportedly led by SP Jayakumar and Rev. Fr. MP Jesuraj, the true agenda of AAP remains deeply suspect. This has had the effect of weaning away well-meaning fence-sitters who were, at one point, willing to set aside their cynicism and repose faith in the political alternative that AAP represented to them. With such a short time left no organization or leader can help AAP to revive its glory which peaked during the state Assembly elections.
Rahul Gandhi’s situation is in fact pitiable. He spent almost nine years touring UP. Also, he said, he would raise a cadre of million workers. At the Jaipur Congress session, when he was made Vice-President and in charge of the Election campaign, he said, from UP Congress would rise to reach its old glory of number one national party. He would also select people of clean reputation and known widely to head the part in every State.
In Uttar Pradesh, there are two other parties, Mayawati’s Bhaujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Mulayam Siingh’s Samajwadi Party (SP) which also heads the state government. Both have their committed voters, Mayawati’s Dalits and Mulayam ,who hopes to be prime minister, has had Yadavs and a large segment of Muslims. But the latter have left him because of Muzaffarnagar riots. The only problem SP and BSP face is that they do not have properly trained workers. Possibly they are more adept at swinging lathis than taking voters to booths. But Mayawati is expected to do better than Mulayam Singh because her workers are more emotionally attached to her than Mulayam’s, some of whom might go with Modi, as he is the lowest of sub-castes. Secondly her workers are more disciplined.
There was an attempt to form a coalition of 11 parties by CPM and CPI but it could not take off. Mamata Didi is now trying to coble together under Federal Front, in which Didi said Jayalalitha could be prime minister.
As far as Mamata’s own state of West Bengal is concerned, she has been clever enough to preserve her own vote bank and keep them happy. She has no challenger, Congress is with it and the Left is in utter disarray. Her alliance with Anna Hazare seems to have been short-lived. Her schedule to hold a rally in Delhi with Anna, had to be cancelled, as Anna failed to turn up. Insiders said that his aides told Anna that the crowd turn-out would be very poor. Naturally Didi was livid with him. The only challenge to Mamata could come from BJP. Modi had a very good reception in Kolkata, but his party’s organisation is rather sketchy.
As for the Fourth Front, one can be never sure it would not collapse under the weight of contradictions. Then it could wither away due to everyone wanting to be prime minister. In fact Mamta is sure to get seats between 30 and 35 but she too nurses the desire of TMC becoming a national one.
The BJD did not attend the Left-sponsored meet and has kept his options open. He has a good cadre and administration. In Bihar, Nitish Kumar, since he separated from BJP, has no cadre worth the name. Then despite good media coverage, the condition in Bihar is really bad. He is unlikely to enter double digits in the election. Naturally, he would be eager to link up with Didi but she wouldn’t do it at the cost of Jayalalitha, whose own prospects are not that good, as was thought earlier. With an alliance with a few Tamil Nadu Parties, BJP is forecast to win a few seats in the State this time. When the election starts one expects some violence as one or two parties are in a desperate situation of do or die.
By Vijay Dutt