New Delhi, May 14: Will the present Union Defence Minister AK Antony become the PM of India? With the UPA and NDA busy with backroom discussions and the chances of Left once again backing the Congress-led minority government, chances cannot be ruled out.
With the results due on May 16, one of the option left with Congress is to project a PM candidate acceptable to all parties, specially Left as no single party or alliance will be able to form a government on its own. TV channels exit polls predicts slight edge to Congress-led UPA over BJP led NDA.
Sources say that for next five years the country's reins will be in the hands of AK Antony. 'He will be a compromise figure for the Congress and Left parties'. This assessment by the party sources is based on the thought that present Congress PM candidate Manmohan Singh will not be acceptable to the Left parties, or at least its hardline faction, as the Indo-US nuclear deal with the US was powered by him.
Moreover CPI-M's Prakash Karat have made it very clear that though he has no personal enemity to Manmohan, he will not support him as PM. However the mild faction of Left parties specially in West Bengal and the leaders like Buddhadeb may support AK Antony. Whatever be the issue, Left had made it very clear that will do its best from blocking BJP-led NDA coming to power.
Another point in favour of Antony, who served the post of Kerala Chief Minister to the role ishis known clean image. However it is doubtful, whether Congress ally DMK will allow the present Union Defence Minister who is allegedly charged of collaborating with Srilankan army in killing Lankan Tamils to become Indian Prime Minister.