If one talks of the situation after the Lok Sabha elections, then who will be the leader of the Congress, that is decided. It can be said that from the side of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi will be the candidate for the post of Prime Minister. The question is just this that people in the Congress itself do not have faith in Rahul Gandhi’s capabilities. All the senior leaders of the Congress whom I am meeting, they do not have complete faith in Rahul Gandhi’s mental capacity or capabilities. If unanimity cannot be attained in the Congress on making Rahul Gandhi the Prime Minister, then once again from the Congress side, some such person will become the Prime Minister who is like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. In that situation, A.K. Antony is at number one. And P. Chidambaram who even now is flailing his hands and feet the most to become the Prime Minister, may also stake a claim.
The Bharatiya Janata Party has shrunk to just revolving around Narendra Modi and Rajnath Singh. A matter of regret is that both the parties are not presenting before the country a road map which will tell people that the experience of the last twenty years has taught them something. Now, when only a few months are remaining before the elections, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gives a statement that the results of economic reforms will be seen in the next two-three months. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has no hesitation in saying this. Along with this, he does not realise how much he has shattered the faith of the people of this country. Whatever time the country could have given, it gave him more time than that, but Manmohan Singh kept watching his own policies becoming unsuccessful. Perhaps it was to see these policies become unsuccessful which was the objective of Manmohan Singh, because the country has been caught in an economic spiderweb. Agriculture, the spine of our economy, after deteriorating, has gone to the brink of ruin and its most powerful elements — the farmers – are thinking not of living, but of death. Against the dollar the rupee is losing its standing every day and an economist like Manmohan Singh is watching silently. It seems as if all the economists in the country know the kind of economics that Manmohan Singh knows, in which it is not for the people of the country, but they think it is their duty to make such policies as a result of which the country’s money should go out of it and within the country too that money should lose its strength.
The Bharatiya Janata Party is seeing its future in the situation created because by the Congress. The Bharatiya Janata Party does not have the economic planning to win, does not have a contented future for the people, instead the party wants to raise again issues like the Ram Mandir and on this issue the Bharatiya Janata Party is playing a conspiratorial game. Half the leaders are declaring the Ram Mandir issue to be a major issue and half the people are saying that the Ram Mandir is not an issue. They want to keep the country in confusion over the Ram Mandir issue. We are saying that if the BJP has even a little bit of morality or ethics left, then it should keep its manifesto before the country in a clear form, in which they should say that we want to turn the country into a Hindu nation. We want to end Section 370. We want to build the Ram Temple and we will run the country with guidance from sadhus and saints, if there is a religion by the name of Hindu, then we will run the country according to its rules. The Bharatiya Janata Party is also deceiving even the Hindus. By ending the Sanatan Dharma it is creating a new sectarian creed, the leaders of which are people like Ashok Singhal or Praveen Togadia.
The curious thing is that the people of the country want neither the Bhartiya Janta Party, nor do they want the Congress. Recently two large agencies conducted a survey and by looking minutely at both the surveys it appears in one survey that the penetration of the Congress is more and in one that of the Bharatiya Janata Party is more, but if we do not think of interference behind both the surveys, then we will find that the people of the country want neither the Bharatiya Janata Party nor do they want the Congress. The seats that the people have given to both the parties, the seats excluded from that are so many, that if they are unified, then a third kind of Government can be formed. This means that the country is not preferring the Bharatiya Janata Party over the Congress, but the country is in search of a third party against these two parties. Then what can be this third alternative? Of the stakeholders for the third option, Mulayam Singh is silent.
Although every election is more thrilling and more uncertain than the last, the coming election will be more interesting and uncertain in the sense that for the first time in the country, talk of candidates of the people against candidates from political parties has come up strongly. And so far no political party has denied what Anna Hazare has said – that in the Constitution of India no place has been given to any party and parties have, against the provisions of the Constitution, captured democracy in India.
Mulayam Singh’s past is connected to socialist thought and he has always been claiming to represent the farmers. Mulayam Singh is also believed to be a leader who can sit amongst the masses, but it is a coincidence that in the last ten years Mulayam Singh has not raised the issues he wanted to raise as a protector of the people’s interest. Mulayam Singh deviated from the route of ‘andolans’ (movements), alongside he been unsuccessful in telling the nation that at this time, if something separate can be formed to the Congress-BJP options, he will be able to do so successfully. It could be that Mulayam Singh is holding behind the screen talks, but nowadays even behind the screen talks become known very soon, because the screens these days are no longer thick.
Now, in the houses of politicians, there are screens and curtains of muslin, what is happening where can be seen very easily. Mulayam Singh did not hold any dialogue with Nitish Kumar, nor does he have communication with Mamata Banerjee, nor with Jayalalitha, and not even with Naveen Patnaik. Apart from Mulayam Singh, in the north, Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee are two people who can get parties to collect by using their ingenuity but these two people are surrounded by two kinds of contradictions. Mamata Banerjee’s contradiction is in relation to her own thinking and understanding. She thinks that if anyone from her party speaks of forming any front, the person will never be able to do so successfully. For this there is a particular billionaire MP, whom Mamata herself has sent to the Lok Sabha, though he is not a dweller of Bengal, through him she holds talks. What is talked about reaches her, but she does not give precedence to this. The weakest aspect of Mamata Banerjee is her lack of faith in any team. That is why the Mamata who was able in Bengal to snatch the Chief Minister’s post with her fighting image is not being able to register her presence on a large scale elsewhere in the country. So far, she has not held any large meeting outside Bengal.
Nitish Kumar had emerged as a person whom people were seeing in the form of a future Prime Minister, but Nitish Kumar is in other words a deluxe edition of Mamata Banerjee. He too has not held meetings outside his State, and in his mind too there has never been any interest in talking to parties outside Bihar – parties which send a large number of MPs to Parliament, and neither has he tried to use the influence of any person who can talk to these parties. Another problem with Nitish Kumar is that Laloo Prasad Yadav is opposed to him and it is settled in Nitish’s mind that Laloo Prasad Yadav will finally go with Mulayam Singh. Perhaps both being Yadavs is behind this or it may also be that there is more coordination between the two. Now if Nitish Kumar does not talk with Mulayam Singh or Nitish does not talk to Laloo, then the materialisation or concrete formation of the third alternative Government cannot be seen from anywhere.
Two Governments at the Centre come to mind. First in 1977, when Morarji’s Government was formed, there was the impact of Jaiprakashji in the country, his influence was there, his pressure was there. The second Government was formed under the leadership of Vishwanath Pratap Singh, who keeping his ego and pride on the shelf, held a dialogue with all those anti-Congress powers or people, no matter what their status was in the parties, or if they had some power. From here the leadership of Vishwanath Pratap Singh developed and it was from here that the foundations of a non-Congress Government were laid and that Government was so amazing that it received the support of the right-wingers, i.e. of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Leftists, i.e. both the CPI and the CPM.
Today, people want that there shouldn’t be a Congress Government, there shouldn’t be a Government of the Bharatiya Janata Party, a third option or alternative should come before them, but the leaders responsible for forming the third alternative are just not talking to each other. It seems to them that when the elections draw close, then any three-four parties will become allies, and the people will cast their votes for that alliance. It may be that their thinking is correct, but it seems to me that now, the way the mindset of voters has developed, voters may not accept them as the third alternative so quickly, and a fourth angle has been added to this. Anna Hazare has raised in the country the slogan of non-Congressvad, non-BJPvad and non-partyvad. Although the status of Anna Hazare in the eyes of political parties is zero but in the eyes of the people Anna Hazare is not yet zero. In the name of a moral personality in the country the lone person the people of the country know is Anna Hazare, and Anna Hazare has started to talk in the country about people’s candidates against parties. Out of these four, who the people will accept, who they will not accept cannot be said.
Although every election is more thrilling and more uncertain than the last, but the coming election will be more interesting and uncertain in the sense that for the first time in the country, talk of candidates of the people against candidates from political parties has come up strongly. And so far no political party has denied what Anna Hazare has said – that in the Constitution of India no place has been given to any party and parties have, against the provisions of the Constitution, captured democracy in India. It is also being wondered about the Supreme Court that when a person called the Jan Nayak (public hero) of the country is talking repeatedly of the Constitution, people of the Supreme Court are not paying any attention to it. Only one reason emerges for this and that is that either people of the Supreme Court read only English newspapers and don’t read Hindi newspapers at all, or that English newspapers are not publishing what Anna Hazare is saying. But there is a lot of activity and stirring taking place in the country and in the next two months this activity and stirring will, it seems, decide the path for this country.