Summary: AAP is still a bachha- cant be trusted to play with the big boys, regional outfits- cant be bothered to know about them and how they may actually hold the balance of power, it is the one and only Congress that must rise like a phoenix and erect a lakshman-rekha around the crown jewels (which are actually locked away in the British Museum).
The liberals (and not so liberals) may still get their wish, if the BJP scores less than 200 seats, and the total count (along with mercenaries) does not rise up to 272.
If the BJP gets about 230 seats the sun will be setting on another distinguished dynasty. Were they as great as the Mauryas and the Guptas (and of course the Romans)? Only time will tell.
If the first play-book is picked expect quite a bit of turbulence, there will be a coalition of the rough which may soon collapse under its own weight. In the long run it will be difficult to stop BJP because of its reserve strength in the RSS and the serious leadership problems in Congress which the Guardian (understandably) brushes under the carpet.
Living next door to another coming country, China, means India’s arc is often overlooked. Forthcoming elections
in the world’s largest democracy will, however, be an event of global
significance, an awe-inspiring logistical exercise. Voting begins on 7
April and continues for six weeks in nine separate tranches because of
the logistical Everest of balloting an electorate of more than 814
Congress will likely plump for Rahul Gandhi
as its new prime ministerial candidate. At 43, the scion of Rajiv and
Sonia should at least appeal to the young electorate: two-thirds of the
population are under 35 and 150 million are eligible to vote for the
first time. But while Mr Gandhi bears the gift and burden of the family
name, he is inexperienced and, as yet, appears to lack the political
touch of his father, the authority of his grandmother, or the legendary
status of his great-grandfather. For these reasons and others,
Congress will likely take a pasting.
Though polling in such a large
country is more alchemy than science, there is a strong possibility that
the BJP will form the next government, probably with Mr Modi as prime
minister. Mr Modi is one of the most polarising politicians to have
walked India’s political stage for many years. He is the candidate of
change, and has established a reputation as an effective manager, which
appeals deeply to voters who spend their lives trying to negotiate
bureaucracy. But he has been repeatedly accused (and cleared) of stoking
anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat in 2002, in which a thousand or more
people were killed. It was only in 2012 that the UK decided to end a
boycott of Mr Modi by senior officials. The US has followed suit in
A third force is the new Aam Admi party,
which has its roots in a broad anti-corruption movement and has made a
point of transparency and accountability. Yet the AAP remains a reaction
to India’s political woes and not, or at least not yet, a solution for
India needs change. It needs reform, infrastructure and jobs
for hundreds of millions of young people. The best hope of resisting
the nationalist BJP, now or in 2019, lies with Congress, the party that
has dominated Indian politics for best part of 70 years.