Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha said on Friday that BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is currently riding the wave of an unstoppable momentum to become the next prime minister of India.
“It appears very likely that after 2014 elections, there will be a BJP-led government at the center with Modi as its prime Minister,” said Sinha, India’s former External Affairs Minister, Finance Minister and the current member of Parliament.
Sinha was addressing a small gathering at the Indian Educational School, Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh on the sidelines of the school’s annual day celebration.
Striking a cautious note, Sinha however said, “One thing that I have learned from my experience is that it is really hard to predict the outcome of an election because people in India are too clever for us,” he said.
Sinha said the results of recent opinion polls and pre-election surveys point to an NDA victory in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. “It looks certain that the BJP-led NDA will be able to reach the magical number required to form the government. We will also be able to attract partners post-election who will support an NDA government,” he said.
“One thing is absolutely certain. This present dispensation will not come back to power,” Sinha said referring to the UPA government led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“I’m not saying this out of any prejudice. If you look at the election results of the four states that went to the polls recently, you could see that the Congress party was totally decimated in Rajasthan and Delhi. The anti-incumbency sentiment was very strong in these states,” he pointed out.
Sinha, however, sought to underplay the challenge posed by the Aam Atmi Party led by Aravind Kejriwal to mainstream political parties. Though the BJP managed to win 32 seats in the Delhi Assembly, it failed to secure simple majority to form the government. AAP won 28 seats -- the second largest number --and formed the government with the support of Congress party.
“Many people initially thought AAP was a real challenge at the national level. But it was flawed from the beginning,” he claimed.
“When Anna Hazare commenced his movement against corruption, there was a resonance all across the country. Unfortunately, Kejriwal chose to give it a political color and take benefit out of Hazare’s movement. Today, a couple of months down the line, the situation in AAP is not as bright as it appeared in the beginning,” Sinha said.
“On the contrary, Narendra Modi has gained a certain degree of popularity among the masses. He is connecting with the people wherever he goes. This is now creating a situation where BJP is likely to win even in unlikely places,” he claimed.
Sinha harped on his charge that India has been ruled by surrogacy. According to Sinha the fundamental mistake was made in 2004 when the UPA took power.
“The UPA government led by Manmohan singh failed to deliver. It has created a dichotomy of political system where power does not rest with the prime minister. The power is elsewhere. So, we have responsibility without power and power without responsibility. Because the country is ruled by surrogacy,” he said.
Referring to the turmoil in the state of Andhra Pradesh, he said, the developments in the state are distressing.
“Already more than 1,400 people have lost their lives in Telengana and another 100 in Seemandhra region,” he said urging the authorities to sit with both parties and work out an amicable solution to the problem.
“How can you have an arrangement where the capital of Seemandhra will continue to be Hyderabad when the region is more than 350km away from there?” he asked.
Sinha also spoke at length about criminalization of politics.
“We allowed politics to be taken over by anti-social elements, uneducated, illiterate, unscrupulous and corrupt people. That is what made the issue of criminalization of politics so urgent in our system,” he said.
He said that politics should not left to the scoundrels. “Politics should have more and more professionally qualified people. It should consist of people who have rich experience in various fields. Fortunately, things are now changing for the better,” he added.
By K Abraham