Showing posts with label prime ministerial candidate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prime ministerial candidate. Show all posts

Monday, January 20, 2014

SUNDAY SENTIMENT Politics is the Art & Craft of Befooling People


It is politicians themselves alone who have defiled the precept and practice of politics. It is they who have degraded those who are in power today or can be tomorrow.  That is why politics is now being recognized as the art of befooling people. It is called the game scoundrels play. A writer defined politics as "the art of getting votes from the poor and money from the rich on the pretext of protecting each from the other".

Numerous instances can be quoted to support the above description of politics. There is no gainsaying the fact that politicians in India take the people as fools who, like herds of cattle, can be shouted away to any direction they like.  It is generally believed, more so by politicians, that people, nay voters, have a short memory and, therefore, easy and useful to cheat the people for their political and electoral purposes with their glib talk. This has paid dividends to politicians many a time.

But equally wrong is to think that people are fools or they can be befooled at all the occasions for all the time.

Latest in the Congress party's decision not to name its prime ministerial candidate for the coming 2014 parliament elections.  It is the unchallenged privilege of a political party to fight an election or not. Equally is it its right to project its chief ministerial or prime ministerial candidate.

We follow the Westminster form of parliamentary democracy and many of the traditions followed in Great Britain. It has practically a two-party system. Therefore, the person under whose leadership the elections are held is the natural choice for prime ministership. In the alternative, the incumbent prime minister is the person who seeks a fresh mandate for his party.

Only those parties in opposition which do not contest all the seats in parliament do not — and need not — project their prime ministerial candidates because doing so amounts to becoming a laughing stock of the people. If a party that is not contesting that number of seats which can give it a majority and still announces its prime ministerial candidate, it is just kidding itself and the electorate?

In the present context, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has already declared that he will hang his boots after the next election. That means that if Congress-led UPA is returned to power once again, it has to have a person under whom the elections are held and who will be the prime minister if it wins at the hustings. Whenever the Congress went in for elections whether under Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or Mrs. Indira Gandhi, there was never a doubt in the mind of the party and the people as to who will be the prime minister if the party wins majority. It was never in doubt even when party contested 1984, 1989 or 1991 polls for Parliament under Rajiv Gandhi. It was a different matter when Rajiv Gandhi was killed during election campaign in 1991 elections and Narasimha Rao had to take his place.

The 1996 and 2004 elections to parliament were held under Mrs. Sonia Gandhi's leadership with the electorate never in doubt that if Party wins she and she alone will be the prime minister. It remains a mystery that Mrs. Gandhi who went to meet the President with a claim to majority support in Parlament and to seek an invitation to form a government,  on return surprised everybody saying that she will not be the prime minister and instead nominated Dr. Manmohan Singh.

At the moment there was no shortage of top leadership demanding in a chorus that Rahul should be elevated as prime minister. Some wanted it right now. Even before and after the elections to five State assemblies in December 2013 Rahul Gandhi  being thrown up as the Congress Party's PM candidate were doing the rounds in media and political circles. Endorsing Rahul Gandhi, Dr. Singh on January 3 said that Rahul is an able person with all the "outstanding credentials" needed to be a prime minister.  Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on December 31 wanted Congress to name its prime ministerial candidate.

In an interview to the Hindi daily Bhaskar Rahul himself said, "In the national interest, it is necessary that Congress forms the government at the Centre; and in this direction whatever responsibilities the organisation has given me, I will discharge them with utmost sincerity and honesty." There was a media hype that on January 17 during the AICC meeting Rahul will be nominated the prime ministerial candidate. But Mrs. Sonia Gandhi put her foot down that Rahul will not be projected as party's prime ministerial candidate. Even when there were shouts in his favour, she remained unmoved.

It is a clever move on the part of Mrs. Sonia Gandhi. Rahul has been made the chief of the party election campaign committee. In this way both Mrs. Soniga and Rahul wish to eat the cake and have it too. In case the party wins, Rahul will hog all the limelight and emerge the 'natural' candidate for prime ministership. In case it is otherwise, Congress will claim that Rahul was not in the race. If he is made the prime ministerial hopeful and loses, it would amount to sealing Rahul's fate for ever.  This is what Mrs. Gandhi has strategized.

In this connection, BJP prime ministerial candidate, Mr. Narinder Modi's comment is apt: "When defeat is imminent, which mother will sacrifice her son politically. The heart of a mother decided to protect her son".  Congress took no chances; it did not gamble.

But Rahul had different explanation. He enlightened people that it is not the party but the Party MPs who elect a prime minister.   Convinced?                                                      ***

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Why Cong failed to work wonders which Modi did with Central funds in Gujarat?

Why Cong failed to work wonders which Modi did with Central funds in Gujarat?

So at last the Congress confesses, though belatedly, that Mr. Narinder Modi has worked wonders in development in Gujarat, but with a rider that development works in Gujarat were being implemented using Central funds and that he had not done “anything significant”. That is what the Union Minister Kapil Sibal said on March 29 in New Delhi. ( The legal eagle Sibal has once again proved that he thrives in the art of being illogical in what he believesto be his great logic

Firstly, Mr. Sibal needs to understand that the “central funds” are not the Congress  party’s own money raised through donations from big business.  It is public money and if any public money is given to any state government by a Central government, it is not a favour on the state government or its people. It is people’s own money, their own hard-earned money, their right and sanctioning it for development of the people in States is the ruling government’s bounden duty mandated by the people.

Secondly, it the Central funds, so kindly sanctioned by the Manmohan government, are fhe magic wand, why has the Central government itself or the Congress-ruled governments have failed to strike the same wonders in development which Mr. Narendra Modi has succeeded in doing in Gujarat? Why is that the GDP growth of Gujarat is about three times more than that of the ‘kind donar’ Manmohan government? If the Manmohan government’s this ‘wonder money’ can work wonders in the GDP growth of the non-Congress states like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar etc. , why had it failed to strike the same magic in Manmohan’s own government? Had GDP growth not been that much higher than that of Manmohan Government, Union government’s achievement on this score would have been still lower.

Obviously ridiculing Mr. Narinder Modi without taking his name by saying that if “somebody wins three times and thinks he is a contender (for the post of Prime Minister).And he has not done anything significant there, whatever has been done is through central funds," Mr. Sibal was exposing himself to be ridiculous who does not believe in democracy and has no respect for the will of the people. Mr. Sibal must understand that in democracy everybody has a right to entertain an ambition to be a prime ministerial candidate. And merely wishing does not make a person a prime minister. It is not individuals like Mr. Sibal, Congress Party, BJP or any other political organisation which can make any person a prime minister. It is finally the verdict of the people which makes and unmakes an individual. He forgets that it was individuals like him who had joined a chorus as early as in 1996 even that Mrs. Sonia Gandhi should be prime minister when she had,  as yet, not enrolled herself as an ordinary member of Congress Party and had as yet not contested even a single election. When Mr. Rahul Gandhi won the 2004 Lok Sabha elections for the first time, Mr. Sibal was one of the numerous Congress leaders who joined the rant for making Mr.Rahul the prime minister although that victory was not his personal one. Though he is now only in his second term as MP, yet it wil be a sheer exaggeration and hypocrisy to say that his own victory and that of the Congress then was because of Mr. Rahul, notwithstanding his poor showing in last year’s UP Vidhan Sabha elections  where Congress faired very badly in his own and his mother’s parliamentary constituencies. Yet, the Congress chorus for making him prime minister continus unabated by persons like Mr. Sibal.

On the contrary, people like Mr. Sibal try to trivialise the three time win for himself and his BJP in Gujarat which is as much a Modi win as is it that of the BJP. The people of the State irrespective of their caste and creed have given a big hand to Mr. Modi despite his detractors’ false propaganda to the contrary. Yet, the likes of Mr. Sibal have the cheek to ridicule people’s dermand for making Mr. Narendra Modi as the prime minister. So far Mr. Modi himself has never uttered a word on the issue. If people like Mr. Sibal and his Congress colleagues have the right to propose that Mr. Rahul (and earlier, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi) be the prime minister, how can they deny the same right to other leaders if they speak for Mr. Narendra Modi? Is democracy the dynastic property of people like Mr. Sibal to the exclusion of all others who do not agree with them?

We do expect Mr. Sibal to inform and educate the people who do not agree with him with this illogical logic?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Assembly elections to determine Rahul's prime ministerial ambitions

Assembly elections to determine
Rahul's prime ministerial ambitions

By Amba Charan Vashishth

When Mr. Rahul Gandhi was elevated as Vice-President of the All-India Congress Committee at Jaipur on January 20, 2013 his mother and Congress President Mrs. Sonia Gandhi visited him at night and warned "power is poison". In his first speech accepting the position, Mr. Rahul said, "Last night… My mother came to my room and she sat with me and she cried... because she understands that power so many people seek is actually a poison.” The only corollary to his elevation, so went the impression, was that he would be the party's prime ministerial candidate for 2014 Lok Sabha (LS) elections. Many a times in the past has the incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh reiterated that he is ready to make room for Mr. Rahul the moment the Party wants. Simultaneously, there has been a chorus of demands within the party that Mr. Rahul should be the prime minister.
When Mrs. Gandhi referred to "power", she was obviously alluding to a situation in which the people vote a person and party to power. It cannot be otherwise.  A party never does – and never can – vote itself or its leader into "power". It is the exclusive prerogative of the people and people alone, and not of the party workers, to put an individual or a political organization into power. Therefore, Mrs. Gandhi anticipated that Rahul will get "power" through people's mandate.
Yet, Mr. Rahul's stand remains confusing. About three months back he boldly declared that he is ready to shoulder higher responsibility and said that this will be decided by his mother and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. In January he accepted the post of Vice-President of the Party. But in the first week of March he declared that the post of PM is not vacant and, therefore, his being a candidate does not arise. Two days later, on March 5 he said, "Asking me whether you want to be prime minister is a wrong question".  Further, "I want to give to the middle tier, empower the middle-level leaders". Does it imply that his becoming a prime minister would stand in the way of his realizing this noble objective?
On the other hand, the reaction of Congress Party to Mr. Rahul's observations is all the more queer. While "make Rahul prime minister" pitch remains sonorous the Congress, on the other hand, reacted on March 6 saying, "As and when time will come the party will take an appropriate decision…..he (Rahul) is the most appropriate candidate." It clearly implies that the incumbent prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh may be more "appropriate" but Rahul is "the most". It is, therefore, but natural that the Congress should settle  for the "the most appropriate" candidate instead of the more one. In nutshell, "As and when time will come the party will take an appropriate decision" to project "the most appropriate candidate", that is Rahul, in place of Dr. Manmohan Singh. That only means that it is only a matter of months, if not of days, before Dr. Singh is eased out.
The everyday rant by Mr. Rahul Gandhi, his diehard followers and the Congress Party is only making the already confused situation worse confounded. While Mr. Gandhi seems to be trying to create an impression that he is not after office, and, simultaneously, conveying a sense of feeling to the people that he is a leader "reluctant" and shy to shoulder the onerous responsibility. Mr. Rahul Gandhi's past record of leading his party to victory at the hustings is not that much inspiring, given the results of assembly elections in Gujarat, UP, Punjab, Bihar and more recently in Tripura. And then the spectrum of assembly elections is looming large in important States of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka and maybe even in Jharkhand. It  does not seem to give Mr. Rahul the courage to take the final plunge. A defeat – even a minor win here and there – is not likely to bolster his image and grit to take on the opposition by the horn in the final battle for the 2014 LS elections in the next 11 months.
Therefore, in all probability, "the appropriate time" of Congress conception will herald only if election results in these States are heartening to inject in Mr. Rahul Gandhi the guts to take a final plunge. By announcing him as party's prime ministerial candidate at the moment Congress cannot afford to stake Mr. Rahul Gandhi's political career to the outcome of assembly elections. It can turn disastrous and mar his chances to be projected as the party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014. The tide in the assembly elections will thus determine the course of his political future.  
The writer is a Delhi based political analyst and commentator