Delhi is like a hot plate upon which everything sizzles, including the asinine abuse that leading political figures continue to hurl at the more dignified amongst them that only goes to endorse the insecurity many are beginning to feel as the elections enter their final phases. If one were to go by body language and verbal diarrhoea, its seems clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party is on the backfoot, feeling low and looking somewhat lost, as is Lalu Prasad, Sharad Pawar and, to some extent, the Mulayam-Amar Singh duo. These were the players who flexed their muscles in the cabinet at the behest of the smaller, regional dispensations.
A faction in the Congress believed in going alone in a concerted and committed attempt to rebuild from the base, without the cumbersome dealmaking that has till date only benefited those in the party who played politics to put one against the other to survive and grow. The parasites were rattled because their game had come to an end, even though the endgame could take a few more years to reach closure. ‘Allies’, if one could call them that, unused to a strong, determined decision from the Congress and only familiar with their own ability to ‘manipulate’ many ‘leaders’ within the party core to get their demands met in different ways, were hugely disturbed when the Congress decided on a new trajectory that would redefine the parameters for the future.
The middle-aged ‘general secretaries’ in charge, sitting in lazy splendour in the party high command — men and women who have had the run of the place for the last decade in particular — are believed to have argued in favour of ‘alliances’ and not to stand alone. However, a fresh, dynamic mindset had its way to rebuild from the base, renew democratic processes that are non-existent in all political parties, and reach out to a new, vibrant India that would look ahead at inclusive, balanced growth.
Taken by surprise, political fixers and rapacious allies scurried about trying to pattern different ‘combinations’, looking at numbers rather than at India and Bharat. Since then, the ‘manipulators’ in the Congress have been back at work, forced to push the fresh agenda at least till May 16. Thereafter, they are bound, by habit, to revert to their sniping and devious actions to derail any substantial overhaul since it will expose past shenanigans.
This one scene in a larger act discredited the casteist, regional satraps and exposed their limited agendas. A third and fourth front tried to take root. They had the shades of many past exercises that came to a nought. The characters playing out the scene had their desperation to remain in power writ across their cheeks as they pranced about embracing strange and incompatible partners. These were ‘arrangements’ — cold, calculated marriages carrying dowries but devoid of true love! They will soon be looking for other illegitimate ‘companions’.
Today, what comes across the footlights is a BJP that is putting up a brave face and an upbeat Congress. It could change tomorrow because the cynical voter is not showing signs of being inclined this way or that. But one thing is clear — the voter has seen through the personal ‘ambition’ of the various regional satraps whose main priority is to ascend the Delhi throne at any cost, regardless of political values, ethics and beliefs. India will reject such leaders and the next election, whenever it is held, will establish that truth.
In the states, regional leaders will have to address and deliver on local issues. If the Congress gets 160-plus seats, all the abusive allies will race to Janpath and Akbar Road and try to attach themselves like alien bees to an available honeycomb, fickle and greedy to be paraded on the sizzler that is Delhi. They will then expose themselves yet again to the people of India.