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Third Front Govt?: UP GAME CHANGER, By P B Verma, 29, 2013 Print E-mail

Events & Issues

New Delhi, 29 July 2013

Third Front Govt?


By P B Verma


‘Is there any possibility of the formation of a ‘Third Front Government’ at the Centre after the next Lok Sabha elections?’ According to political observers, this possibility could not be ruled out. However, much would depend on how wisely the two national Parties, BJP and Congress play their cards. No doubt, Uttar Pradesh with 80 seats would play a very important role in deciding the fate of the Parties striving to adorn Delhi’s throne.

With the Congress-led UPA Government involved in several big scams along-with the unbridled rising prices of essential commodities, which have made it difficult for the common man to make both ends meet, the Congress cannot hope for a favourable response from the people in the 2014 elections.

Besides weak governance, the Congress lacks dynamic leadership which could lead the Party to success. Rahul Gandhi, feel sceptics, have neither the qualities nor the experience to emerge as a successful leader. Congressmen it appears praise him and declare him as future Prime Minister only to please Party Chief Sonia Gandhi, who could make or destroy their political career. 

It is tragic that both Sonia and Rahul are over-confident about their ‘impact’ on voters whereby they haven’t given thought to promoting local leadership. Even pictures of State Party Chiefs and other senior State leaders are mostly found missing from posters displayed for publicity of their meetings.

Also, they haven’t tried to promote the State or local leadership in their speeches when touring a State. Guess, both fail to realise that national leaders only help in creating a congenial atmosphere for the Party, but it is the local level leaders who convert it into votes.

Recall, in the Vidhan Sabha elections held in various States, the Party succeeded in forming the Government only where the local leadership was already very strong or it got the advantage of blunders committed by the Party in power, as was the case in Karnataka and Uttarakhand. 

The Congress succeeded in Karnataka as the BJP headed by ex-Party Chief Nitin Gadkari had handled developments badly after the involvement of former Chief Minister Yeddiyurappa in the mining scam. In Uttarakhand, the Party lost marginally to Congress thanks to internal sabotage. So far as UP is concerned, it is said that a rival is not needed to defeat a Congress candidate in the elections. The job is done by Congressmen themselves! 

The Party is banking largely upon its game changer, ‘Food Security Scheme’ for its success in the next Lok Sabha polls. But, political observers think this is a distant dream as little time is left at the UPA Government’s disposal to implement it successfully all across the country. Additionally, this appears a tough call as the public distribution system in most of the States is paralysed.

Moreover, if true that the path to the Centre leads through UP, then the Congress should not expect much in the 2014 elections. If it seeks to draw inspiration from its success in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, it is mistaken.

Political pundits assert the success the Congress achieved in the last election was not because it had grown stronger but because of the blunders committed by BSP supremo and then Chief Minister Mayawati. She failed to realise that the BSP returned to power because the common man voted en masse in her favour due to her tough stance against the mafia during her earlier stint as Chief Minister.

Clearly, Mayawati was under the wrong impression that she won because of the support of a community, and fielded several mafia dons in the Lok Sabha elections, thereby damaging her ‘anti-mafia’ image and sending shock waves across her voters, who were left with no option but to support the Congress.

Further, her voters neither wanted to support Mulayam’s Samajwadi or BJP which had earned a bad name among the people as some of its Ministers had crossed all limits of corruption due to which the Party was regaled to third position in the State Assembly elections.

On its part, the BJP has given the impression that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is its Prime Ministerial candidate. Wherein, the rank and file believe his image as an honest and dynamic leader, an efficient administrator would help polarise votes in favour of the Party.

Indeed, in the prevailing situation in the country especially UP, the outlook looks favourable for Modi.  But his greatest stumbling block are his Party colleagues. Party patriarch LK Advani remarks post the Goa conclave has damaged the BJP’s prospects to a great extent.

Undeniably, Advani played an important role in developing the BJP from two MPs to sit on the Lok Sabha Treasury Benches, he might also   prove a successful Prime Minister, but thanks to the RSS relegating him to the background, he no longer remains a voter catcher.

During the last decade, the RSS and VHP have considerably lost their sheen among Hindus. Resulting in an impression gaining ground among its cadres that fund collection is its main objective. The proposed mandir construction campaign is seen more as a ‘dhan sangrah abhiyan’ (money collection campaign) rather than one to facilitate the Sri Ram temple’ construction at Ayodhya. Any move by the VHP during the forthcoming Lok Sabha election is likely to damage Modi and BJP’s prospects.

According to political observers, harsh and bitter criticism of Modi by Opposition leaders is helping polarise votes in his favour, especially in the Hindi belt. Not a few feel if the BJP plays its card well, it could win 40-45 seats in UP alone. However, if Modi fails, it might result in the formation of a Third Front given the recent popularity of regional Parties.

In fact, Samajwadi’s Mulayam feels if his Party is able to get the same number of seats, if not more, than the BJP it could pave the way for him becoming Prime Minister. Will UP give him the chance? Time will tell. ----INFA

(Copyright, India News and Feature Alliance)

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