Odds Stacked against UPA Regroup

Today, as editors of national news channels and newspapers are coming around to accept the fact, we are reproducing an analysis posted on our Blog on November 25. The intention is not to say “we told you so,” but to establish our credentials as a small yet, credible player in the new news media.

Some of the data contained in the post may be dated.

Akbar Khan

November 25

“Mayawati pulled out over inflation and “step motherly treatment”, the Left over the Indo-US nuclear deal, Lalu Prasad Yadav nearly a fortnight ago threatened pull out over the MNS attacks in Maharashtra and Karunanidhi has been threatening to rock the boat over the Sri Lankan Tamil issue.

With the BJP vowing a tooth for nails battle in the parliamentary elections scheduled for 2009 and the Left-BSP combine swearing by a no-truck with the Congress, the chances of the UPA principal cobbling up support for a government on the other side of the general elections are growing bleaker by the day.

With Mayawati seemingly in control of her own, as well as, rival flocks in Uttar Pradesh, a huge Congress upheaval in the heartland seems highly improbable, at least at this juncture.

Future partners are almost sure to take into consideration the treatment meted out to Samajwadi allies by the Congress, which the former put up with, only due to dwindling electoral fortunes and a resultant Mayawati onslaught in the heartland.

The main Opposition BJP is also unlikely to pull off any spectacular results in Uttar Pradesh, the saffron party is seemingly readying itself to emerge as the second largest party in the country’s most important electoral battleground, Uttar Pradesh. And is likely to attempt a revival of core Hindutva agenda to push its election campaign to surge ahead of competition.

The outcome of the ATS probe into the Malegaon blast has acquired huge political dimensions as the right flank is sure to dub the arrest of Sadhvi, Swami Dayanand Pandey and others accused in the case, as an attack on Hindutva, a ploy that is sure to catalyse a huge voter exodus in favour of the BJP.

Congress inaction over anti-bhaiyya attacks in Maharashtra are bound to reverberate when UPA allies, Lalu Prasad Yadav and Ram Vilas Pawan hit the campaign trail in Bihar, the parties are likely to face a severe tirade launched by JD(U) that emerged with unequivocal brownie points from the controversy.

Stringent action against MNS boss Raj Thackeray in Maharashtra may even result in a sympathy wave for the regional firebrand and a massive drubbing for the Congress-NCP alliance that rules the state.

The role of former Sena man Narayan Rane gains significance especially as he is known to be a staunch critic of Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who many say governs the state with the blessings of NCP boss Sharad Pawar.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and National Conference (NC) also face growing public ire in Kashmir, where luckily for them, the chances of a huge electoral turnout are nullified by ‘negative vote’ calls by the secessionists.

The BJP will, in all likelihood, improve poll earnings in the Jammu region where it supported and backed the pro-land transfer agitation spearheaded by the Sri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti (SASS).

In Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi faces growing by the minute anti-incumbencies for failing to convince the central establishment to take up the cause of Sri Lankan Tamils that share close cultural and family ties with people in the state.

By espousing the cause of Lankan Tamils the MDMK is already reported to be consolidating its position in the state.

In Andhra Pradesh the entry of matinee idol Chiranjeevi is expected to disbalance political equations and the thespian’s heightened war of words with chief Minister YSR may be viewed as a pointer towards his political leanings.

Allies though, silent at the moment, also talk of internal skirmishes and blame the Congress for attempting to hurt secular allies to better its own poll showings in pockets controlled by its partners.

The conclusion of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is likely to result in severe infighting between the various Congress factions both in the states and at the Center, thus pushing for a power shift, which may eventually come about after the general elections.

The ouster of former Minister and CWC member Margaret Alva, though unanimously condemned for her anti-party ramblings, may eventually turn out to be a first round victory for the factions pushing for a change of guard in the Congress.

Any surprise victories in the ongoing Assembly series or the Lok Sabha elections is bound to result in increased longevity for the current power base at the center, a scenario that many within the Congress vow to thwart, at any cost, to the party.”

(The author of this post is news editor, the views expressed are entirely his own)

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