The BJP is an amazing party. It knows how to shoot itself in the foot. By naming Narendra Modi as the Campaign Committee Chairman, it destroyed whatever possibilities there were of coming to power by defeating the Congress. The Congress of course is in poor shape because of the various scams and irregularities. Besides, there is a general perception that there is more corruption than the average person will tolerate. Congress itself knows that its popularity is at the lowest in its history. But if the NDA will not be elected, then who will be elected? If the BJP had understood that the temperament of this country is a middle of the road temperament, it would not have appointed Narendra Modi. Of course it has not announced him as a Prime Ministerial candidate but the perception is that it is trying to project him. It is an obvious thing to anybody, even to the youth who are going to vote for the first time that Narendra Modi is a divisive factor, not only divisive within the BJP but divisive in the country as a whole. The Muslims cannot trust him and they constitute 15 per cent of the electorate. The BJP, by elementary common sense, should understand that if you appear for an exam and there are seven questions and you do not answer one question then you have to pass out of six questions which makes passing even more difficult. So, by appointing Narendra Modi the BJP has decided one thing: that it is not interested in coming to the power at the Centre. At least it cannot make it. The RSS must be having some robust thinking in that direction. Maybe they want to further their ideological agenda like the Ram Mandir etc. and they are not interested in a Central Government or the welfare of the country. But the BJP is a political party. It must understand that its relevance will be there only if it works for the betterment of the country politically and economically.
After all, what is wrong with the Congress? You read the Congress manifesto or any of its resolutions, they still read perfectly well. It is its functioning that is bad. The way this Government has functioned is a disappointment. The funny part is that the policies of the Government were to help the corporate sector but even they are demoralised now because of the current trend in the economy. The common man of course has not benefitted because of the high inflation and too much corruption. The silver lining on the political horizon is the talk of the formation of the Third Front. I think the time is ripe for a Third Front if it behaves with a positive attitude and restraint. They can make a Government with the right kind of support. The secular space is available for them. The Congress is losing that space and the BJP can never take that space with Narendra Modi. Advaniji tried to show reasons to his own party that the time has again come : like the 6 year Vajpayee Government they could again hope to come to power with a secular face and secular functioning. The Third Front meeting has been held between Mamata Banerjee and JDU representatives and Naveen Patnaik also wants to come in. They must try to talk to Jayalalitha, Mayawati and Mulayam Singh, either both of them or one of them. This kind of combination can be formidable. These four or five people, their tally will not be less than either the Congress or the BJP. So, there is the three way arithmetic that can be decided after the elections as to who can be the Prime Minister, who can provide a good Government and who enjoy the confidence of the people.
I see a Third Front being formed as a very, very positive development for the country. Of course there are people who say the Third Front Government earlier could not do too much and the Congress and the BJP are the only two alternatives. It is true that they are the largest two parties of the country. But what will the country do if these parties themselves do not behave in a responsible way. The Congress never thought that it will be re-elected in 2009 but got an even bigger majority. However, they frittered this opportunity for no reason. The BJP it is obvious, if the Congress cannot come to power, does not know how to cobble up an alliance and take power. They have announced Narendra Modi, who is good at jingoism. Though he does not talk of Hindutva, his face is enough to project Hindutva. I think all right thinking people other than the Congress and the BJP should all give support to this Third Front movement and all the Third Front leaders should suppress their individual egos and make a real effort to give the country a Government that it deserves.