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Who will be India’s next Prime Minister?

, August 30, 2013, 0 Comments

There are many contestants for the post of Prime Minister of India. Among the many aspirants only one will see his/her dream fulfilled. Who will be the lucky winner. We shall examine the prospects of the possible aspirants and try to examine the chances of each becoming PM – one by one.

Let us start with Manmohan Singh. He won the full confidence of the Congress President. But, of late, the Congress Party has developed a sort of Manmohan fatigue. Members of the party want a change. They have had enough of the architect of economic reforms in India.

The main contender from the Congress side is Rahul Gandhi. The Congress Party wants him to rule the country. But Rahul himself is reluctant and hesitant. Will greatness be thrust upon him? Chances are not bright of Rahul becoming PM. The chances of Congress returning to power is itself slim. Anti-incumbency factors, lost reputation on account of scams and corruption charges, and a deteriorating economic situation renders the possibility of Congress forming the next government quite remote.

The BJP has put all their eggs in one basket. There is only one aspirant in the party now for the post of PM – Narendra Modi. Modi’s elevation in the BJP’s hierarchy is itself becoming its undoing.  Whatever may be his reputation as a leader and administrator, the baggage of Godra, accusation of encounter killings, reputation of being an authoritarian and non compromising leader, and non-secular and anti-minority credentials will go to ensure that he does not occupy the PM’s chair.

Next we have to go in search of the aspirants from the Third Front. Among them Nitish Kumar emerges as the most prominent. But there are indications that he does not harbor prime-ministerial ambitions. People say he wants to be confined to the state of Bihar.

Among Third Front candidates we then have Maya, Mamata and Mulayam. All three are great leaders in their own right and highly popular within the confines of their own party. But outside their own parties they are very much disliked. The Third Front will hesitate to have them as their candidate for PM.

Sharad Pawar and Naveen Patnaik are also leaders who can aspire to be PM under the Third Front umbrella. They may not face as much opposition as the three M’s. But both these leaders will lack a large following of MPs from within their parties to steer them to the Prime Minister’s post.

Having ruled out a large number of contenders we are left with Jayalalitha. She has ambition. She can get the required support of MPs from within her party. She has all the capabilities. She speaks in a crystal clear shrill voice. She may not show her ambition to be PM. But she is likely to be chosen by default as the Prime Minister of a Third Front Government. The Third Front will go for the least controversial aspirant as the person to lead its government. That will be Jayalalitha. The Third Front will come to power with Jayalalitha as PM in 2014.