My first interest has always been politics. I should admit that I am quite fascinated with the entrapments of power. But what has always mesmerized me is the dynamics of politics. There is a saying that " a week in politics is more than a life time". How true that is !!!! Imagine a party that was virtually gutted in the 2004 parliamentary elections is back in the reckoning. BJP ( Bharaitya Janata Party), which was once touted as the pro Hindu, pro Hindi party has taken the prized Southern state of Karnataka. B.S Yediyurappa created history by being the first Southern CM of the saffron party. L.K Advani has certainly set his eyes on the once elusive prime ministerial chair.
Here is a flashback. BJP had just 2 MPs in 1984. By 1989, the party had grown to 80+ seats. The Ayodhya wave catapulted the party to the centre stage of national politics by the 1990s. However, the party peaked during the late 1990s when A.B Vajpayee became the first BJP PM in 1998. Vajpayee was touted as the most acceptable " public face " of the party while Advani had to remain in his shadows. Barring some occasional hiccups ,it is to their credit that the PM and the Deputy PM ( Advani) had no major friction between them. I would say that this was the major factor that kept the party together during its rough times in 2004 and 2005. The duo remained the best of friends and Vajpayee passed over the baton to Advani without hesitation.
Manmohan Singh did not do a bad job. Infact he was the most erudite PM to have been in the chair after Pandit Nehru. We should remember that Manmohan was the leader of a motley coalition with an invisible leftist authority. Given the circumstances,I doubt whether anyone else could have done a better job. Some say that he was a weak P.M. I doubt whether that statement is true. The definition of " weak" and " strong" is certainly relative. Dr. Singh was less of a talker and more of a doer. He may never had the charisma of a great leader like Rajiv , Indira Gandhi or A.B Vajpayee. Nevertheless, he was second to none in his commitment to the nation.
But what he lacks , the personal charisma and lack of connectivity to the masses, may well prove to spell doom to the Congress party in the coming general elections. During normal times none of these prime ministerial traits would have mattered. But these are torrid times- those of sky rocketing inflation and high unemployment. The Consumer Price Index is at an all time high and the gasoline prices have shot over the roof. The P.M himself has said that the latest hike has not covered the losses of the oil companies. That would mean that more increases are impending. The Aam aadmi is feeling the pinch and this will unleash a tsunami of anti incumbency.
This has already been felt in the six or so states that went to the polls in the last year. Congress could not even win a single one of them. It should be noted that none of these states were won by the BJP on Hindutva brand of politics. All of them were a clear case of anti incumbency.
Time is running out for the Congress government. Lal Krishna Advani is no longer the political pariah one dared not to touch. Instead, he is the next best bet for the BJP after Vajpayee and a seasoned statesman. The same allies that ditched the party last time around will be flocking to their fold this time around. Unless something dramatic happens, I predict that the 2009 General election finals belong to the BJP and the NDA. But again, I would like to repeat what I said earlier.." A WEEK IN POLITICS IS MORE THAN A LIFE TIME".