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Indian general elections and the secular front

, October 31, 2013, 2 Comments

The secular front
The Secular Front is likely to win about 200 seats in the 2014 general elections and form a government with outside support of Congress Party

The UPA II Government has become highly unstable. Elections may have to be declared any time or it could take place as scheduled after about four months. Whenever the elections are declared the coalition groupings that we see at the national level, today, are likely to undergo a change. There is a distinct possibility of a Secular Front emerging which will be composed of regional parties. This grouping could include JDU, AIADMK, SP, SAD, TDP, BJD, AGP, NC, INLD, NCP, JDS and several others.

If such a grouping emerges at the national level it is going to be a very powerful one. BSP and SP cannot be on the same side of the fence at election time. Hence SP is likely to be in the Secular Front and BSP will continue as an ally of the Congress. Similarly, AIADMK and DMK cannot be together. Jayalalitha could join the Secular Front and DMK might again come to an understanding with the Congress on fighting elections. TMC and the Left don’t see eye to eye. So only one among these two will join the Secular Front the other will have to fight it alone in the elections.

Yedurappa’s party is likely to join the NDA. But Akali Dal of Punjab, BJD of Orissa, TDP of Andhra Pradesh, National Conference of J&K, AGP of Assam, JDS of Karnataka and INLD of Haryana could join the Secular Front. Sharad Pawar on retirement may decide to pull his party out of UPA and join the secular grouping. Thus the Secular Front is going to emerge as an overarching grouping at the national level.

What will happen to UPA and NDA in this scenario? Both will disintegrate. BJP will suffer a bigger blow than the Congress. Its allies such as the SAD will join the Secular Front. For Congress the blow could be a little less severe. Mayawati and Karunanidhi may opt to continue as allies. Though UPA may not remain intact, Congress may have the support of some of its old allies.

Under such a scenario let us try to visualize what will be the outcome of the elections. The Secular Front will have emerged as a powerful force and, if all goes well for the grouping, it will be in a position to emerge as the largest grouping in the Lok Sabha. There are several states such as Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Orissa and some of the smaller states where the prospects for the Secular Front can be considered to be excellent.

We have estimated that such states have about 250 seats in Lok Sabha. In states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and several small states having total seats of about 150 the prospects for the Secular Front is estimated to be moderate. In states such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and certain small states the prospects for the Secular Front is considered to be poor. The number of seats going for polls in these states is estimated to be about 140.

In the first category of states the Secular Front is estimated to win 140 seats. In the second and third category of states the Secular Front can be expected to win 40 and 20 seats respectively. This gives a total number of 200 seats for the Secular Front which will provide it with a strong bargaining power when it comes to the question of government formation. The depleted NDA would have become very frail and may be able to garner only about 145 seats. The Congress and its allies may do only a shade better by winning 150 seats. The Aam Admi Party may have to remain contended with only 3 seats.

The Secular Front will not be able to form a government on its own. Having been founded as a secular front with the objective of fighting communalism it will not be in a position to seek the support of BJP or NDA. Thus the Congress Party or the UPA will have to extend support from outside to enable the Secular Front to form a government. The Congress will not agree to join the government without its leader becoming PM which will not be a proposition acceptable to the Secular Front.

Thus the only workable alternative will be for the Congress to provide support from outside. All talk of Modi versus Rahul in the PM race will disappear into thin air. At the same time the Secular Front will have difficulty finding a PM candidate. The contenders will include Jayalalitha, Nitish, Mulayam and so on. One of the leaders of the party which emerges as being among the most successful in the elections will nominate its leader as PM.

How will such a Secular Front government which forms a government with outside support fare in the matter of governance. Here the results will be mixed. On the non-economic side the front may be able to achieve commendable results. But on the economic side the driving force of the front is likely to be populism and as the days go by, the nation will be moving closer and closer to an economic calamity.

Finally, when the front completes its full term a full blown out economic crisis would have emerged. Perhaps at this stage the Indian public may once again demand the services of the Congress Party to tide over the mess the Indian economy would have got into.

  • Harishchandra Bhat

    Wishful thinking !

  • TrueIndian

    Hahaha pipe dreams