From all apparent evidence, it now seems certain that a combination of different parties may come to the center in India. Although, NDA may get more seats, Congress or Third Front – with the support of the other.. may form the Government.
I hope, for India’s sake, that if that has to happen then may Congress form the Government with support of Third Front constituents from outside. For, any combination of Third Front forming a Government at the Center will be a complete disaaster for India! This sort of experiments have happened in the past in India and met with utter failures.
Every time some things remained common – High Inflation, High Fiscal Deficit, and a bad crisis in Balance of Payments as a result of the first two. There was hardly any pretense of Governance in most of those times! A lot of what Dr. Singh as a Finance Minister had to salvage India from was the handiwork of VP Singh and Chandrasekhar Governments. A lot of that was again messed up by Dewe Gowda and Inder Gujral.
However, if indeed Congress Government comes but is handicapped due to Third Front support and has to induct some inefficient and corrupt ministers, even then it doesn’t look good for the economy. It is important that even though the Government may be a coalition or totally dependent, the key portfolios – like Finance, Home, Defense, Energy and Commerce – are in the hands of truly competent people. For all the negative PR that Narasimha Rao always got during his term due to slow action, he was a master of running a Government in a structure where he owned nothing and was dependent on others for everything. Yet, he was able to give a protective “shield” to Dr. Singh for functioning and doing what he did. I am wondering if the Congress has a PV Narasimha Rao at this point? For, we will surely need one!
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