Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shinde for PM?

There has been some talk of a Dalit Prime Minister from the Congress Party. If the party indeed projects someone like Sushil Kumar Shinde as the first Dalit Prime Minister in the run up to the elections, it may well be the master-stroke that brings five more years of gaddi.

Of late the Congress Party has been uncharacteristically making some good moves. The budget presented by Chidambaram is easily one of the smartest we have seen in recent times. The farm loan waiver isn't too bad even from a economic perspective. From a political standpoint, its a populist dream. And the reduction in railway fare and the income tax limits won't hurt either.

The talk of general elections to coincide with the assembly elections in three BJP ruled states would have sent some tremors at the BJP office. And if this government actually goes ahead and signs the Nuclear deal and hence gets the Left Front to force the elections, it'll be a bit machiavellian.

Its true that Congress has given lots of firsts in Delhi. First woman PM and President, first minority President and PM, and the first Dalit president. Now why not the first Dalit PM? Its also practical. Manmohan Singh has been a disaster and cannot get a single vote for the party. The 'crown prince' ofcourse is still uncooked. Shinde's Maharashtra is one of the swing states in the upcoming polls. And unlike most Congressmen, Shinde isn't electile dysfunctional and can win from Solapur.

And there is Mayawati. Any further growth of BSP in other parts of the country will bring an existential crisis for Congress. Even if the party were to not form a government after the elections, they must halt Mayawati at all costs. Elsewhere, Congress has sucked up to Muslims so hard that even Bin Laden would be embarrassed. A Muslim-Dalit-Farmer-Middle Class combo will be great platform to go into the elections.

And finally, if you are surprised at this sudden Congress love from yours truly, its just a realization that the odds are stacked against the BJP. Even in the best case scenario of NDA forming a minority government, how can it be better than the Vajpayee one? The best ministers of that govt, Vajpayee, Mahajan, Murasoli Maran, Khanduri, Suresh Prabhu and Jaswant Singh are either dead, out of contention or have gone crazy (Jaswant!).

I'm betting on Narendra Modi for 2014 or a mid-term poll post 2009!

2 comments:

Ridhus said...

Balaji,

With the redrawing of the electoral constituency it is going to be tough to predict this election. With more seats allocated to urban areas, the bjp is at an advantage, while congress and maya will be the biggest losers given that their vote base is mostly in rural areas.

Balaji said...

true, delimitation will be a factor in the coming elections. wherever suburbs get added to city constituencies, it might help the BJP. but not when rural voters get clubbed with urban voters. in any case, BJP performed pathetically in the urban centers last time (esp metros). that number can only go up!