An Indian Civilizational Perspective

Coalition coming. But whose? And what will it be?

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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6 Comments
  1. Anonymous says

    Indeed, the Narsimha Rao led Congress government was a minority government which managed to stay for long. No matter how much one may support the BJP, one has to agree that the Congress is better at running jumbled up coalition governments. Past records at the Center as well as in States have shown this. So definitely, in the case of another fractured verdict, a Congress-led government will be the best alternative.

    I just hope they won’t have to give too much room to SP/BSP (both Amar Singh and Mayawati are dangerous and over ambitious idiots); Laloo (as long as he is happy to be out of jail and in the Railway ministry, he is good); Left (hopefully the Nuclear agreement will not be under debate again); DMK/AIDMK (so far they seem relatively harmless, they just want their government in the state and damage the other); Pawar (another dangerous and over ambitious nobody who wants to be PM).

  2. Desh says

    Well.. even Vajpayee’s govt. was a coalition Government… which completed its term and was successful in many areas. Divestment initiative was best handled under Vajpayee Govt. by Shourie… even in case of foreign policy – turnaround of US policy and sanction post-Pokharan blasts was a major success as was formalizing foreign policy on pragmatism of having relations with Israel and Arabs BOTH.. instead of being coy about Israeli relationship.

    Unfortunately, most of the Third Front Govts which failed came with the support of Congress and they pulled support at odd times to change the puppet PMs.

  3. Anonymous says

    Indeed, the Narsimha Rao led Congress government was a minority government which managed to stay for long. No matter how much one may support the BJP, one has to agree that the Congress is better at running jumbled up coalition governments. Past records at the Center as well as in States have shown this. So definitely, in the case of another fractured verdict, a Congress-led government will be the best alternative.

    I just hope they won’t have to give too much room to SP/BSP (both Amar Singh and Mayawati are dangerous and over ambitious idiots); Laloo (as long as he is happy to be out of jail and in the Railway ministry, he is good); Left (hopefully the Nuclear agreement will not be under debate again); DMK/AIDMK (so far they seem relatively harmless, they just want their government in the state and damage the other); Pawar (another dangerous and over ambitious nobody who wants to be PM).

  4. Desh says

    Well.. even Vajpayee’s govt. was a coalition Government… which completed its term and was successful in many areas. Divestment initiative was best handled under Vajpayee Govt. by Shourie… even in case of foreign policy – turnaround of US policy and sanction post-Pokharan blasts was a major success as was formalizing foreign policy on pragmatism of having relations with Israel and Arabs BOTH.. instead of being coy about Israeli relationship.

    Unfortunately, most of the Third Front Govts which failed came with the support of Congress and they pulled support at odd times to change the puppet PMs.

  5. Anonymous says

    Correct, Vajpayee managed to survive for five years but his own persona had a lot to contribute to that. He was seen as the “soft” face of the BJP and enjoyed tremendous respect even among his opponents. The same cannot be said for Advani. who despite all his qualities, is seen as a hardliner. It is no wonder that now there is speculation about a Nitish Kumar led, BJP/NDA/Third Front supported coalition coming to power. See here:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes

    “With political parties and leaders feverishly working out permutations after what seems to be an election too close to call, there is a new story doing the rounds which sees Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar as an unlikely “consensus” candidate for the prime minister’s job.”

    Anyway, while this is pure speculation, India Inc. and industry analysts seems to echo my view that Congress is better at forging alliances and therefore more likely to lead a stable government. See here:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes

    Industry players are relieved to hear projections that the Left’s seat tally is likely to decline – no surprises, I think most sensible people would be relieved. Further, analysts at Goldman Sachs and the Economic Intelligence Unit are of the view that the Congress / UPA is more likely to bring stability.

    “Given the experience of the past five years, the UPA is skilled at building coalition, which could provide some comfort that a stable government will take over post-election.” [Goldman Sachs]

    “As Congress-led UPA is more acceptable to small parties, it is likely to provide more stable government than by BJP-led NDA” [Economic Intelligence Unit]

  6. Anonymous says

    Correct, Vajpayee managed to survive for five years but his own persona had a lot to contribute to that. He was seen as the “soft” face of the BJP and enjoyed tremendous respect even among his opponents. The same cannot be said for Advani. who despite all his qualities, is seen as a hardliner. It is no wonder that now there is speculation about a Nitish Kumar led, BJP/NDA/Third Front supported coalition coming to power. See here:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Maverick-idea-PM-Nitish-if-BJP-Third-Front-agree/articleshow/4531898.cms

    “With political parties and leaders feverishly working out permutations after what seems to be an election too close to call, there is a new story doing the rounds which sees Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar as an unlikely “consensus” candidate for the prime minister’s job.”

    Anyway, while this is pure speculation, India Inc. and industry analysts seems to echo my view that Congress is better at forging alliances and therefore more likely to lead a stable government. See here:

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Business/India-Inc-votes-for-non-Left-govt/articleshow/4531687.cms

    Industry players are relieved to hear projections that the Left’s seat tally is likely to decline – no surprises, I think most sensible people would be relieved. Further, analysts at Goldman Sachs and the Economic Intelligence Unit are of the view that the Congress / UPA is more likely to bring stability.

    “Given the experience of the past five years, the UPA is skilled at building coalition, which could provide some comfort that a stable government will take over post-election.” [Goldman Sachs]

    “As Congress-led UPA is more acceptable to small parties, it is likely to provide more stable government than by BJP-led NDA” [Economic Intelligence Unit]

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