Millennium Post

Not a cakewalk for Modi

Bharatiya Janata Party’s  (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is seeking votes in the name of a stable government in the country. Hopefully, he might have forgotten the key role of his party in the downfall of three non-Congress government at the centre. It’s not all. Even the non-controversial leader of the party Atal Bihari Vajpayee too failed to complete the tenure of his two governments. The bigger question is this that how Narendra Modi is ensuring to provide a stable government in accordance with the alliance partners?

Post-Independence, the first non-Congress government came into power after the general elections of 1977. The Janata Party had got the mandate in this general election. The rebel leaders of Bharatiya Lok Dal, Bharatiya Janasangha, Congress (O) and Congress (R) had formed the Janata Party after Emergency period during the 1977 general elections. This election was contested on the symbol of Bharatiya Lok Dal’s i.e Farmer with Plough. But soon after the polls, the Election Commission allotted this symbol of Bharatiya Lok Dal to Janata Party. After the formation of government under the prime ministership of Morarji Desai, several senior leaders of Jana Sangh were inducted into the cabinet and were allotted important portfolios. The main reason behind the instability of this non-Congress goverment was non other than Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the reason being this that even after the merger of Jana Sangh with Janata Party, the leaders of Jana Sangh were holding the membership of parent organisation. So, after two-and-half years of government formation, the issue of double membership was raked up by the then deputy prime minister Choudhary Charan Singh. The decision in this regard was taken at Janata Party after the controversy and at last Morarji Desai was to quiet. Notably, with the support of Congress Charan Singh took the oath of prime minister. But the Congress-supported government at the centre failed to sustain and Charan Singh was forced to resign. After this episode, the country witnessed mid-term Lok Sabha elections.

The second non-Congress government came into power in 1989. The Janata Dal’s government under the prime ministership of Vishwanath Pratap Singh formed the government with the support of BJP and Left Front. Even before completion of one-year of the V P Singh government at centre, senior leader of BJP L K Advani took out Rath Yatra from Somnath to Ayodhya. His rathyatra was stopped in Bihar and Advani was arrested by the then Janata Dal government-led by Lalu Prasad Yadav as the chief minister of the state.

After this move, BJP withdrew support from the Janata Dal government at the centre and the nation was left out in the shadows of instability. Taking the benefit of the crisis, Congress offered support and with the help of Congress Chandrashekhar Singh took the oath of new prime minister. Showing true political colours, Congress too withdrew the support after a few months and forced the country to go for mid-term general election.

Resultantly, the P V Narasimha Rao governemnt of Congress was disseminated in the Lok Sabha election of 1996 over the issue of corruption. Till then, the BJP has flourished its base. After the 1996 general elections, BJP emerged as the largest party bagging 162 seats. Even though with no clear majority, BJP’s parliamentary party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee proposed to form government as being the largest party to President Shankar Dayal Sharma and President invited Vajpayee for government formation. But during that period the parliament was divided on the grounds of secularism and communalism which resulted in the fall of Vajpayee’s 13-day old government. It led to the formation of third front government headed by H D Deve Gowda. Congress withdrew support after 10 months and the BJP did not make any effort to give stability to the national politics. In its aim to destabilise the third front government, Congress gave platform to Indra Kumar Gujral to form the government and withdrew support on the issue of Jain Commission report. It was third instance when the BJP and Congress forced the country to face mid-term elections.

Again in 1998, BJP emerged as the biggest party with 182 seats. Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) but J Jayalalithaa backstepped from the government and Vajpayee government lost the majority by just one vote. Despite the fact, Vajpayee urged the parties that mid-term polls would put an unnecessary burden on already struggling economy. Still India went through mid-term elections for the fourth time.

Sensing the political instability in the country, now Narendra Modi too is seeking votes. Top leader of the BJP is aware of the possibilities of a hung House and at the same time the BJP has also accepted the fact that reaching 272 plus mark is not a cakewalk.

In a country where people like Vajpayee despite their clean and uncontroversial image
was forced to mid-term elections, Narendra Modi is still to come clean.
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