It is inconceivable for the Congress to get re-elected at the Centre in the 2014 general elections. Even if the NDA doesn’t come to power, it is likely that Parliament will be hung beyond repair and a Third Front dispensation will rule.
Here’s a look at things that are sure to bring the Congress down…
1. Scams: In 1989, Bofors was enough to bring down the Government from its near invincible position of having more than 400 seats in the Lok Sabha. In comparison, there is a rich take your pick lavish scam buffet in 2014…
2G, CWG, Coalgate, Adarsh, Choppergate, Railway scam, Tatragate…
If the Congress can come out of this, then they may as well rule forever!
2. Economy: The economy is not doing that great and schemes like NREGA and Food Security may bring in some votes, but they will add to the Centre’s financial woes. Things don’t seem like getting better in the near future. Bad economies usually bring down any government doing well or not. And this one’s been absolutely abysmal of late!
3. Leadership vacuum:
Even if the Congress comes to power, who will be PM? Manmohan Singh is almost retired. Pranab Mukherjee is in Rashtrapati Bhavan. P Chidambaram has many cases against him. Rahul Gandhi has zero leadership experience and so far looks quite unwilling to lead. Even Sonia Gandhi has been Congress President for 15 years as there is absolutely no freshness in the Grand Old Party of India. The Congress voter doesn’t know who he is voting for as PM.4. Security:
Terror blasts continue here and there in Indian cities. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde does not inspire confidence. There has been no progress with Pakistan on the issue of terror. No matter how many times the Indian and Chinese leaders hold their hands and smile, the truth remains that incursions have been happening with impudence. 5. Arrogance and over-confidence:
It is amazing that despite all that has happened, the Congress continues to be as arrogant as ever. The spokespersons continue to speak brazenly and resignations come only as a last resort. Since the BJP continues to be in disarray, the Congress is over-confident that eventually the voters will have to choose them only. That may not be the case.6. Section 66A:
While there is only a small fraction of Indians who use the Internet, the publicity over the arrests over Section 66A has reached even the villages. The IT Act has got extremely bad press coverage for the Congress and this will be a big negative against them in the elections.7. Allies:
After 2004, most of the allies started gravitating towards the Congress and that is how the UPA managed to remain in power no matter what. But that has changed now. First they had a big falling out with the Left and then the Trinamool. Even SP and DMK are unwilling partners now. It cannot be ruled out that parties like ADMK and BJD will be open to doing business with the BJP should the situation arise.
That’s one major thing that seemed to have toppled the NDA in 2004. While the UPA bucked the trend in 2009, it is difficult to think it doing so for the second successive time, especially with its image lying in tatters.
9. Manmohan Singh:
When Manmohan became PM in 2004, the Sensex tanked and most thought the government wouldn’t last the full term. But people applauded Manmohan’s stand on the nuclear deal in 2008 and re-elected him in 2009. The fall began in 2011 and today Manmohan’s image is in tatters again and nobody has confidence in him. The people will keep this in mind while voting in 2014. It has come to a full-circle in 10 years.10. Protests:
The anti-corruption protests began at the end of 2010 and peaked with Anna Hazare in 2011. Arvind Kejriwal kept the agitation alive in 2012, but they peaked again with the anti-rape agitations at the year-end.
With every protest, the Congress has become even more arrogant and the Home Minister even likened the protestors with Maoists, countering them with water cannons, police force and Section 144. It is but natural that these years of protest will translate into anti-Congress votes whenever the next general elections are held.
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The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.
He blogs at http://sunilrajguru.com/