Political events are taking shape in the country in various forms. In Delhi a new Government has been formed, three States have been clearly won by the BJP and the Congress has suffered a set-back. What is still not understood is what exactly the Congress party has in mind. For any political party which has lost elections, getting only 8 seats in an assembly of seventy, how does it make sense for them to offer unconditional support to any of the other parties when nobody has asked for their support? Obviously they want to give support to the Aam Aadmi Party to keep the BJP out which is a very childish and a very immature decision. After all, whatever the Aam Aadmi Party has been espousing has been against the Congress rule of 15 years. Whatever may be the due of the people, the results have shown that the Congress has lost badly in all the four States — not because the BJP is popular but because the Congress has got a negative image. Wherever people did not have an option, they voted for the BJP, wherever they had an option they voted for the third option. Now, instead of retrieving the situation, they are just trying to attack the BJP as if the BJP is their biggest enemy; their biggest enemy is within — unless they improve their own image, unless they can get out of this stranglehold of their image being of scamsters, of people making money and making false promises, how will they improve their electoral prospects?
It’s such a big party, it has got a presence in all parts of India, it has got a strong leadership, but apparently the people who are making decisions are not the mature politicians that the Congress always boasted of. The misreading in the public mind is that if Narendra Modi is very popular, it is his day — definitely Narendra Modi has been able to help the campaign, nobody denies that. But what about the States in the south and the east where the BJP does not exist? It is not possible to overnight bring the BJP. There’ll be third forces, there’ll be provincial leaders in all the eastern and southern States who’ll get their seats.
The Congress must revise its strategy of being anti-BJP to being pro-itself. It should again delineate what Congress stands for, what they will do if they win the elections or make a coalition and what policies are there for the benefit of the people. If analysts examine the matter they will come to the conclusion that there is hardly any difference between Congress policies and BJP policies. On all economic policies — they’re both pro-rich and pro-America. They will talk of reforms, liberalisation, giving benefits to the corporate sector — they’re of that view, what is the difference between the two parties? One has got smeared by scams, the other has been waiting in the wings for the last ten years — without power — so naturally there’s the anti-incumbency factor — to that extent the BJP will stand to gain. The Aam Aadmi Party is a new experiment, which all of us are watching closely. At least Ministers who will be appointed, if they are not corrupt, it is then a message to the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy’s brazenness will reduce. Today, they know the top people are corrupt, the bureaucrats they make even more money because nobody is there to check them. The biggest contribution that the Aam Aadmi Party could make to the country’s policy is to put a fear in the bureaucrats — that they’re getting a salary to do service to the public, they can’t ask for money for every service, otherwise their salary is only for being on the Government payroll, and for everything they want extra money. That must end. It’s all right — power and water — the Aam Aadmi party has been promising to bring down the rates etc — if they can do that it’s very good, but even if they can bring down corruption — eliminating corruption is not easy — if they can bring down corruption at a high level, it will be a new turning point in the politics of the country. We don’t know what Anna Hazare is thinking, but by the time the Lok Sabha elections come, if Anna also gives his blessings to some people, some good people will also come and try to do some nation-building — whichever party is there or some formation is there. In this whole atmosphere, there is a vital need for a Third Front to come together but a Third Front leader doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to make an alternative. Everybody is waiting for election results and start bargaining thereafter. This is not a good trend. Non-Congress and non-BJP leaders should get together and try to make a viable front which can rule the country. Let us see what the weeks to come show us.