Next polls will bring little stability in Indian politics

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Bangalore, March 22: Should India go to the mid-term polls? This is a million-dollar question at this hour after two of the biggest regional allies pulled out of the UPA II govrnment since last September. Many political leaders and observers feel that the Congress-led alliance should seek a fresh mandate so that the country finds a way out of the current chaos.

But will the mid-term elections ensure a political stability in the country? Chances are little.

The reason is that the Opposition BJP is in a disarray and is still to overcome its 'communal' tag. Although both the national parties are completely unprepared for an election at this moment, it is the Opposition BJP which is more in a shambles owing to the leadership problem. It will find it difficult to suddenly force the name of Narendra Modi on its allies as the prime ministerial candidate if elections are held this year.

If the BJP fails to retain Karnataka in the May assembly poll, the party will succumb under immense chaos and gearing for the big election within a few months will look to be an uphill task.

The Congress, although has its own issues to settle, but will be more than happy if things indeed turn out in that manner.

Are regional players ready for the snap polls?

The likes of Nitish Kumar, Mamata Banerjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati and Jayalalithaa will be key players in the next big poll. Are these leaders ready for snap polls?

Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar said on Thursday that he is in favour of early Lok Sabha polls for he felt that the ongoing chaos in the Parliament can only be overcome if a new government comes to power. Kumar's emphasis on fresh polls is perhaps determined by a hidden agenda of allying with the UPA and get an opportunity to have a say in governance in the future.

The Bihar CM is unlikely to back Modi as the NDA's prime ministerial candidate while it is very likely that the Gujarat CM will indeed be announced as the PM candidate by the BJP. In that case, Kumar will ultimately opt to pull out of the NDA and join the Congress's fold. Kumar's changing of sides will give a decisive blow to the NDA's poll prospects and the UPA will look the favourites to come to power yet again.

Next we take the case of Mamata Banerjee. The TMC supremo has learnt things the harder way ever since she had pulled out of the UPA in September last year. Her governance record is in a shambles and financial hardships have made it difficult to practise populist politics even. The TMC has expressed its support for the UPA on the Sri Lanka issue while Congress ministers have also set up a communication with Banerjee. The TMC will find it difficult to join the BJP for it has the minority vote-bank at stake. Bannerjee will not want an immediate election and eye to manage her position with the help of the Congress first.

Mulayam Singh Yadav is perhaps the only politician close to the UPA who will be looking for an early poll. The busy SP politician has already declared names of the party's Lok Sabha candidates and will play a vital role to ensure if the election will be held this year or not. Ideally, Mulayam will want the Lok Sabha polls to get over before his son's government in Uttar Pradesh is seriously plagued by an anti-incumbency factor, which has already started to grow. But even in case his party contests the elections now, the story will be more or less similar to what it is now. A politician banking heavily on minority votes, the BJP will be the last option for Mulayam to back.

Mayawati is another friend of the Congress. Her loyalty comes from the fear of the communal forces. The messiah of the Dalits will not want immediate election for after the drubbing in the last year's state election, she will like to take more time to see the Akhilesh Yadav administration get battered further.

But if the elections are held now, Mayawati is most likely to either continue to support the Congress from outside or in case the latter performs badly, to project herself as the next prime minister of a Congress-backed dispensation. Mulayam Singh would also try to so something similar in case the Congress puts up a shocking performance.

And finally, Jayalalithaa. She is likely to back the NDA after the next polls with Modi serving as the convenient link. She will also prefer early polls as a staunch anti-Congress leader. But given the situation of the BJP-led alliance, it is very unlikely that the Tamil Nadu chief minister will get a chance to join the government at the Centre and think something like declaring a war on Sri Lanka.

Even if elections are held now, there is little chance that she will head north straightaway. Jayalalithaa's preference for the alliance will seriously limit her chances to emerge as a PM candidate because it will be an immense challenge for the NDA to gather the required numbers to form the government.

Either a Congress-led or Congress-backed govt

In the final analysis, whether elections are held now or in 2014, it will be either a Congress-led or a Congress-backed government at the Centre again. But whatever be the nature of the alliance is, chances are high that the next government will be a fragile formation (with a weakened Congress) and might not survive a full tenure.

Democracy is indeed deepening in India. The more it does, the more chaotic it becomes.

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