West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Bannerji addressing her party workers yesterday advised them that they should work hard and be ready for early General Elections. Without naming, she stated that a party in New Delhi had held a meeting recently in which this was discussed. Obviously the pointers were towards the Congress Party. This is a possibility that has gained currency as it is with the steep decline in the political image of the Congress Party and the economic mess that it has made in its second term in office.
Two major questions arise should early General Elections at the end of this year or early next year are called for by the ruling Congress Party.
- What impels the Congress Party to gamble for early General Elections?
- Who will lead the Congress Party as its projected Prime Ministerial candidate in the early General Elections?
Addressing the first question, besides the governance-deficit and the general drift away from a purposeful political leadership being provided to thru nation, the Congress Party also faces the double-whammy of a twice-over incumbency factor. Coupled with the cascade of multi-crores corruption scams that have plagued the Congress Government in its second term the overall image that has emerged is of a disunited and indisciplined Congress Government where the Ministers look for orders from the Congress President rather than the Prime Minister whom she herself imposed.
The magic of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty also seems to have waned as was evident in the recent Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections where despite a high-voltage election campaign by the Congress’s First Family, the results were otherwise.
The answer to the second question becomes complex in view of the above in that can the Congress Party be expected to field Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister of India in view of the fact that his magic did not work in India’s state with the largest number of Members of Parliament? If he is not fielded, which is unlikely, then who else has the Congress Party has in mind to succeed Dr Manmohan Singh? Here one can only end up in a field of speculation.
Regrettably, the Congress Party has been left with very few options and has no option but to go in for a desperate political gamble. The likelihood of early General Elections is very much a possibility and so also is possible the fielding of Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister. In this direction the Congress Party may be driven by the fact that the main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party is as disunited as the Congress and unable to find a unanimous candidate for the next Prime Minister of India.