Aditya Sinha in DNA. HereThe Congress party is vulnerable because of its own misdeeds, starting from the nuclear deal that was pushed through Parliament with purchased votes, to the blind eye turned to the loot of the country in the 2G scam. Anna Hazare has demonstrated the widespread public revulsion that exists for the UPA government; character assassination of Team Anna members may remove the personnel, but not the public revulsion. Such is the state of public nausea that voters are willing to tolerate a timid and unimaginative chief minister like Maharashtra’s Prithviraj Chavan so long as he’s clean, as a DNA survey showed this week. The opposition parties must think of maximising the opportunity on the horizon; however, on current evidence it looks a tall order. The BJP has over-estimated its own strength and its ability to deliver an alternative. The fact that some of its worthies still think that the 84-year-old rath yatri LK Advani is a PM candidate, despite the fact that he led a losing campaign in 2009, demonstrates the bankruptcy of their political strategy.
India has had several experiments with non-Congress, non-BJP governments, but they have not lasted the full course. This does not mean a future experiment will also come up short. But the regional parties have to get their act together for 2012’s two milestones: the UP elections and India’s Presidential election. Mayawati looks on course to decide the first; perhaps she should take the lead in strategising an alternative for the next Parliamentary election. (I don’t give importance to the anti-Mayawati reports in our casteist media, and I don’t think the voters will either.) And the others, be it Mamata, Jayalalithaa, Nitish, etc, should follow her lead. Doing so would be far better than to delude oneself into following Modi’s lead, because his is a road that will lead nowhere in a hurry.