Looking forward at the 2014 general elections

It’s just the right time for the nation to throw out all three choices, and spread a message to the political class that it’s a time for a whole new kind of politics.

With 2014 general elections just close at hand and the Lok Sabha polls hovering on the horizon, it emerges that we have three possible results in front of us. First, the United Progressive Alliance could regain power. Second, the National Democratic Alliance could come to power. Third, there could be a coalition government with mishmash of regional parties backed by the Bharatiya Janata Party or the Congress. All three of these choices have been tried and tested in the past. Been there, seen it. Not to my surprise, all of them have identical inadequacies. None have any type of intra-party democracy whatever, all of them have mass of corruption charges against their key members, all of them regularly give tickets to people with criminal background, none of them deem in having a see-through candidate selection procedure, and all their poll campaigns are financed by black money. When it comes to putting political parties under the compass of RTI, as obvious they all are undivided in their resistance.

Let’s glance at the headship of the three possible options. The current ordnance story is an ideal expression of UPA’s way of functioning. After weeks on in-house consideration and all-party meetings, the PM and his famous cabinet settle on an ordinance to assist criminals in politics. After swelling public condemnation of the ordinance, Rahul Gandhi barges in at the eleventh hour and plays rescuer. It also showed that the current crop of UPA ministers, including the PM, are power hungry opportunists deficient of even a bit of self-esteem. Possibly Rahul Gandhi is a little slow on the uptake and thus always a tardy participant. He carried out a simple show on the Lokpal issue two years after the Lokpal fight got intense, with a speech in Parliament asking for Lokpal to be made a self-governing constitutional body. Certainly, his oratory remained oratory and he did nothing to steer his party towards a suitable Lokpal bill. There is little qualm that the Gandhis hold the actual power in the UPA with no answerability at all. How long is the country going to bear this arrangement?

As for the BJP, we have Mr. Modi who has been appointed as their PM candidate. Many of his admirers deem that he is his own man. They admit “When you vote for Modi, you get Modi and not the BJP.” “He has changed Gujarat. He is not corrupt. He is a great administrator. India will grow under his guidance.” His supporters can go on and on. They dream of a Modi-wave far-reaching the country, although the BJP is now for the most part just a party limited to the Hind-belt.

At a recent public meeting, Modi took the Pakistani PM to job for his supposed remarks in some vague off-the record talk. It’s a just right example of careless seditious of the kind that an aspiring PM should certainly keep away from. At the same time, he has nothing to say on the ordinance since BJP has been similarly guilty supporting it on the inside while making believe on the outside to be opposing it. Babu Bokhiria persists to remain in Modi’s cabinet after being sentenced to three years imprisonment in the Rs. 54-crore illegal limestone mining case. In addition, there are 32 BJP legislators in the Gujarat cabinet assembly facing criminal charges. Gujarat has had no ombudsman for over ten years now. All of Modi’s self-styled good governance credentials can’t conceal the above mentioned cases. Those who shout for his growth to the PM’s chair should think again. Is this the profile that we want in our future PM? And we haven’t even talked about the 2002 riots.

As for the third choice, let’s glance at the likely leaders – Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, J. Jayalalitha, there are the names of top few. All three of them have disproportionate assets cases against them. Is the nation going to be any better with such people at the rudder of affairs?

If the UPA is back in power, it could be understood as the country having pardoned them for all their uncontrolled corruption. A frightening thought to say as a minimum. At the same time, it could be the finish of the BJP as we know it and a huge setback for Modi. If the BJP were to come to power, it would be a chance for Modi to try his hand at alliance politics, something totally unknown to him. On the other hand, should a union of regional parties come to command; it will obviously signify that both the BJP and the Congress are further trailing their importance as national parties.

Given the obvious shortages of all three alternatives, it’s just the right time for the nation to throw out all three choices, and spread a message to the political class that it’s a time for a whole new kind of politics. Maybe, the likes of the Aam Aadmi party and the Loksatta party can give the track required to take India into a more promising future.

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