Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition (Rajya Sabha) : The past few days have presented an insight about the emerging political scenario of the country. For us in the BJP the prospects appear to be encouraging.
The Congress Party has dominated the politics of post-Independence India. In the last few years the performance of the ruling UPA alliance has been extremely shaky and non-inspirational. All polls appear to be indicating that the Popularity of its leaders lags way behind Narendra Modi in the run up to the 2014 General elections. The Congress is likely to lose its strength in most States. There is hardly a State where it is likely to cross the 2009 figure. As the election draws nearer the front runner’s advantage in favour of the BJP would be further consolidated. Additionally, areas which have not been strong-holds of the BJP are showing a sizeable surge in the BJP vote. States like Tamil Nadu, Odisha, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh where the Party strength has been limited, are showing a significant increase in the BJP vote as per the current opinion polls. Once the election becomes quasi-presidential the surge for making Narendra Modi as Prime Minister will further push up the vote share further.
Traditional critics of the BJP had earlier rallied behind the Congress Party. They seem to have now lost hope in it as an instrument that could stop the BJP or Modi. For a brief while they assumed that the BJP surge would be obstructed by the AAP. The Aam Aadmi Party has lent credence to the old saying that a week is too long in politics. It has exhibited unacceptable and irresponsible behavior. Non-transfer of an SHO could lead this party to obstruct the Republic Day celebrations. The Congress Party was all at sea as to how to deal with the AAP. It was willing to criticize but unwilling to strike. Eventually, it offered a weak lifeline which the AAP accepted. AAP’s irresponsible behavior and Congress Party’s capitulation will further emphasize the need for a Party which can provide a stable Government.
Current trends indicate that in the next Lok Sabha there will be only one party which will be comfortably in three figures. The gap between the front runner and the next party will be significant. All others will have handful of seats. Who then forms the Government? This is a question whose answer is likely to play a significant role in determining voters’ choice. Can India afford a government whose nucleus is extremely small and which comprises of innumerable disparate groups? The answer will lead to the irresistible conclusion that India needs responsible governance, political stability and a regenerated economic growth. It needs to revive the investment cycle. All these considerations are bound to give the front runner an added advantage. A Failed Congress, an anarchic AAP, a non-existent Third front will all contribute to the BJP and Modi surge.