Winds of Change

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November, 2013 gave a clear idea of which way the political wind in India was blowing. The rout of Congress in Delhi and Rajasthan; and its rejection by the electorate in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh indicated the loss of popularity of the party.

Without going in to details of causes for the decline in popularity of a party that had managed to rule the center for almost 10 years at a stretch, it can now be said that the grand old party is tottering. The latest India Today Group’s Mood of the Nation opinion poll indicates huge losses for the Congress led UPA.

The BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has been found to make significant gains. The projections are it could win 200-odd seats if the general elections were held in January 2014, the findings of the poll say. The opinion poll gives the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) only around 100 seats, down by over 150 seats in the current Lok Sabha.

It also underlines the significance of a possible Third Front in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election as the non-UPA, non- NDA parties and Independents are expected to win 220- odd seats. The NDA thus crosses the 200-mark for the first time since 2010. Both, the NDA and the likely Third Front, gain substantially in numbers and vote share at the cost of the Congress led UPA. The opinion poll suggests that the NDA’s vote share of 34 per cent will be significantly more than the UPA’s 23.

However, the others will have the maximum vote share of 43 per cent. The scenario is frightening. The BJP emerges as the single largest party and yet it will not be able to form a government on its own. With its alliance partners, Shiv Sena, SAD and a few others, too, that form NDA, a government led by BJP does not appear in sight. The “others” are disparate groups. They cannot be expected to cobble together a government even though they will together be the largest group, according to the results of the poll. What happens then? Horse trading and unholy alliances will prevail. What happens then? Another round of misrule. Another five years of suffering for the common man. The writing is on the wall.

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