ABM — CMB = AAP?

The BJP election machine had gone into full gear long before the Congress woke up, and they are confident that 200-230 seats are within sight.

Updated: January 20, 2014 9:37 am
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI) BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. (Photo: PTI)

The only way Bhishma could be brought low was for Arjun to hide behind Shikhandi, a man who used to be a woman. Analogies are never perfect and the Congress may think of Narendra Modi (NM) as Duryodhana rather than Bhishma, a slot perhaps Advani feels is his. But there is no doubt that in the upcoming election, as in the Mahabharata fought at Kurukshetra, the objective is the same — occupying the throne at Delhi.
The Congress has now given up any hope of winning. The aim now is Anyone But Modi (ABM). As far as the Congress is concerned, the BJP is welcome to win the election but not get too many seats. The prayer is that the BJP gets no more than around 170. Then they would need many coalition partners and in that case the Congress believes NM is unlikely to attract many parties and will be displaced by someone more “secular” — the favourite being Advani, who will be forgiven the Babri Masjid episode, 2002 being worse than 1992.

This is the dream scenario for the Congress. But how to realise it? The anointing of Rahul Gandhi (RG) is hardly likely to change much as he has not delivered the goods in the previous elections. In any case, it is too late to launch an RG wave. Experts are busy  making projections of the worst ever Congress performance, relying on the 1977 and 1998 results. The tally would reach three digits if the Congress is lucky, 80 being more likely. The Congress needs many more partners than NM would, if it is to realise its ABM dream. That is why the Congress has been frantically making alliances with Lalu Prasad and Ram Vilas Paswan, hoping Mayawati would smile at them and Nitish would come on board when the call came after the election to gang together to stop NM. All the anti-BJP parties are to gang up for ABM.

The BJP election machine had gone into full gear long before the Congress woke up, and they are confident that 200-230 seats are within sight. They hope that once the BJP is the largest single party, coalition partners will flock to it and the NDA will form the government. Then NM’s dream of Congress Mukta Bharat (CMB) will be realised.

This scenario has been shaken by the arrival of AAP. ABM enthusiasts are beside themselves with joy. Not all of them like AAP. The party, they complain, is noisy, alarming in its economics, too much in love with referendums, with what looks like a dictatorial leader and many other issues. But  AAP is the sole weapon left whose effectiveness is untried. Thus projections are being made about its seats. As the Congress seat estimates are going down as in a Dutch auction, AAP is being fancied to win enough seats to deprive NM of his dream of speaking from the Red Fort on August 15, 2014.

How many seats does AAP have to win to realise the ABM dream? Of the 60 extra urban seats which the Congress won in 2009, the BJP was hoping to win a large majority — say 45. Now AAP could win 30 seats and the BJP the rest, squeezing the Congress out completely. But then AAP would need to win another 30 seats or more to get the BJP down from its own best estimate of 230. How likely is that?

Let us take a wild card scenario. Suppose AAP gets 100, more than the Congress, which may then end up with 80 as the third largest party (saving RG the horrible prospect of being Leader of the Opposition and having to attend the Lok Sabha regularly). Together, AAP and the Congress may get as many as the BJP in this wild card situation. The BJP will be invited by the President to form the government. At that stage, if NM fails to attract enough partners, we may get the ABM scenario.

Perhaps Jayalalithaa would be the PM with her 35-plus seats or may be Advani, spreading joy to all secularists.

If so, NM should not despair. He should talk to Manmohan Singh, who will tell him that it is not being PM which confers power. NM can be leader of the coalition. That is where power resides.

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First Published on: January 19, 2014 12:26 am
  1. L
    LOL
    Jan 20, 2014 at 8:53 am
    that's why we should avoid AAP altogether and vote for a stable government in the form of bjp under namo.
    Reply
    1. R
      Rat
      Jan 19, 2014 at 6:40 am
      Whatever one says, NaMo is the centre piece of any coalition either him being inside or to keep him out! He cannot be disregarded!
      Reply
      1. S
        Sam
        Jan 20, 2014 at 2:03 am
        100 seats to AAP? Really? Desai must be out of his mind. Just like trial by media, this is election by media. For a party that is non existant out of 7 seats in Delhi, this prediction is a joke. Is Lord Desai being a loyal ba angrez following directions?
        Reply
        1. V
          vamsi
          Jan 19, 2014 at 7:01 pm
          AAP is not likely to win more than few seats and will not dent the BJP vote. It will dent the Congress vote more because of its ideological congruence of centre of left policies.
          Reply
          1. A
            AP
            Jan 21, 2014 at 5:08 am
            Lord Desai had too much to drink before writing this article. Really 100 seats for AAP. I would be surprised if they even get 5 seats...
            Reply
            1. I
              indian
              Jan 21, 2014 at 8:59 am
              only congress led coalition can provide stable govt. so dnt waste your votes.
              Reply
              1. R
                R S
                Jan 20, 2014 at 11:55 pm
                Desai cannot be expected to say anything that would strengthen India. He has to predict only doom like AAP getting 100 seats. After yesterday in Delhi AAP may not get even 20 seats at the cost of the Congress its partner and ally.Why does the media get people like Desai to write and speak for them ? Are there no down to earth people left to comment on India ?
                Reply
                1. M
                  M S
                  Jan 19, 2014 at 10:16 am
                  Such a wild situation should not arise for the good of the country. The BJP should itself try to get as close to majority as possible. God helps those who help themselves. AAP is as dangerous as congress.
                  Reply
                  1. S
                    Satyameva Jayathe
                    Jan 20, 2014 at 7:27 pm
                    How about BJP is just short of Majority and AAP the second largest party allows for a minority government to function if BJP promises to support initiatives like a "effective lokpal", "effective witness protection", "Police force revamp", "Bio metric attendance for govt employees", "Transparent governance", "Action about corporate lobbying", "Preveting scams" "Just and quick punishment for corrupt". This will be the best for the country. BJP gets to govern, AAP gets to be a honest opposition and gain experience, generation of looters like Karunanidhi's, Jayalalitha, NCP, MS yadav, reddy; dy's, chaddi's will eventually gets kicked out.
                    Reply
                    1. J
                      Jyoti
                      Jan 20, 2014 at 5:45 am
                      These days the political scene is changing every day. AAP has definitely complicated the picture. Mr Desai has painted a clear picture of the present scene.
                      Reply
                      1. K
                        Komaal Rani
                        Jan 21, 2014 at 4:08 pm
                        sure AAP will not get that many but BJP will also not get 200 as UP has 80 seats and they are still weak there and so is in AP and Karnataka. they have no space in WB, Nd
                        Reply
                        1. A
                          anil nagpal Nagpal
                          Jan 20, 2014 at 10:07 am
                          For Aap to get 60 Seats is like...MUNGERI LAL Ke Haseen Sapney...
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            anil nagpal Nagpal
                            Jan 20, 2014 at 11:56 am
                            GOD HELP INDIA ...SAVE FROM THESE AAP ANARCHISTS.............
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              anil nagpal Nagpal
                              Jan 20, 2014 at 10:11 am
                              It is impossible for Aap to get 60 Seats..It is exaggeration..
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sunitha
                                Jan 19, 2014 at 8:41 pm
                                I belong to the camp that believes that NaMO would, and ought to, prevail over the Congress- AAP combine. My optimism comes out of the following factors: One, the country is gotten sick and tired of Congress. It sees Congress now as a ant on growth and development, and its open, shameless efforts to perpetuate the rule of its dynasty as the prime source of corruption in the party and its governments. Its march-ing orders are ready, only waiting to be signed, sealed and delivered, come next May.Two, the country seems all set to reset and reboot its stalled growth-and-development agenda. The pathetic non-performance-on-every-front of the UPA2 government has once again brought into sharp focus the relatively shiny days of the Vajpayee-Advani period when the economy hummed along nicely.Three, in a short span of less than four weeks, AAP, the newest gang on the political scene, has already started sinking. Thanks to the antics of the arrogant (Kejriwal), the holier-than-thou (Bhushan), and the anarchist (Bharti), AAP is beginning to look like a Troika of overambitious men eager to grab power in a hurry, using all shortcuts available: Free ride on the coattails of por anticorruption activist, Anna Hazare, an ongoing monthly subsidy(read bribe) to voters, and defying and goading with glee, in full view of the press and the public, government officials whenever they appear slow to respond to public complaints. be the established rules and norms. To heck with orderly, peaceful avenues. Defy and dare the authority when and where you can get an applause. In other words, it's okay to subvert the system and sabotage authority even when you are a part parcel of the system. Exercise the authority the system offers but keep challenging it as an outsider. (How's that for a new chapter in the primers of the Hitlerite Red Shirts of Germany and the Lenin-Stalin storm troopers of the old Soviet Union? Or, as an addendum to Mao's Red Book of the Leap Forward days?).No, sir, as stated above, our mind is made up. We will stick with the tried and tested BJP and its nominee, CM Modi. We are confident we can deal with their warts and faults. Especially, when they have actually shown willingness to change when chastised.
                                Reply
                                1. C
                                  C B Venugopal Panicker
                                  Jan 20, 2014 at 9:37 am
                                  Our next General Election slogan should be " YE NAKKALI OR FAKE HI PARIVAAROM KO HARAO OUR BHARAT MATHA KO BACHAO". WE SHOUD ASK ALL INDIANS TO NAME WHO IS THE " G MOTHER OF ALL SCAMS"
                                  Reply
                                  1. S
                                    Sachin
                                    Jan 20, 2014 at 3:30 pm
                                    My dear country men, please vote for a stable government and strong decisive leader. India needs a strong government at the center otherwise we are all doomed. AAP may have good intentions but I am not sure the way they have handled the last few days in Delhi are encouraging at all. I strongly feel that the need of the hour is to not split our vote and support Narendra Modi and BJP w heartedly otherwise we will have ourselves to blame of the mess that our country has become.
                                    Reply
                                    1. S
                                      SheldonFromBBNOT
                                      Jan 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm
                                      Just like that the floating alien named Meghnand Desai has given 60 to 100 seats to AAP. All these seats are grown in Desai farm I guess.
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rat
                                        Jan 21, 2014 at 9:29 am
                                        Kejriwal goes for a toss - he has chopped off his nose to spite his face! Here goes the Congress strategy for checkmating NaMo!
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          ActualMangoPerson
                                          Feb 3, 2014 at 6:14 am
                                          We've had more than enough "stability", as you put it, in the past 67-odd years to last us a lifetime. It is time for something that formally breaks the Congress monopoly in the Indian Politics. While not perfect, Narendra Modi has done a much better job at administration than your many past Congress governments. Don't even get me started on Rahul hi, the man is as clueless as a deer watching the oncoming headlights. And let us be brutally honest, Arvind Kejriwal isn't the third option - he'll find handling Delhi too much for him. A CM who goes on a dharna in his own state, and refuses to salute the national flag. Absolutely ic.
                                          Reply
                                          1. A
                                            ActualMangoPerson
                                            Feb 3, 2014 at 6:14 am
                                            We've had more than enough "stability", as you put it, in the past 67-odd years to last us a lifetime. It is time for something that formally breaks the Congress monopoly in the Indian Politics. While not perfect, Narendra Modi has done a much better job at administration than your many past Congress governments. Don't even get me started on Rahul hi, the man is as clueless as a deer watching the oncoming headlights. And let us be brutally honest, Arvind Kejriwal isn't the third option - he'll find handling Delhi too much for him. A CM who goes on a dharna in his own state, and refuses to salute the national flag. Absolutely ic.
                                            Reply
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