Coalition govt inevitable at the Centre

Apropos of H.K. Dua’s article “Like it or not, it’s a coalition: Ground realities are asserting at the polls” (April 28), though the two main political parties — the BJP and the Congress — have been wooing the voters to help them form the next government with an absolute majority, the days of single-party government at the Centre are over. The future belongs to coalition governments. One can understand the difficulty of pulling along with so many parties. But then, it is unavoidable.

The ground realities did not point a cake-walk for the National Democratic Alliance. The statements of both Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr L.K. Advani are somewhat fluctuating between single-party and coalition governments. The inevitability of a coalition is perhaps bothering them. Both should not forget that the regional parties had contributed to the survival of the NDA government.

Perhaps, politics is no more ideology oriented. It is all opportunism. How to win elections and form the government seems to be the only motto of the BJP and the Congress. Strangely, even to win an election has become a mission today.






I endorse H.K. Dua’s view that we will have yet another coalition government at the Centre after May 13. As most people believe, the regional chieftains will be persuaded to form another BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

Though Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has sworn not to help the BJP in forming a government at the Centre, very few people trust his words. He may prove to be another Chandrababu Naidu of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, Ms Mayawati is quite unpredictable. She can take any unexpected decision at any time.

As a serious observer of national politics since 1977, I believe that our MPs, once elected, don’t bother about the sentiments of the common people. Most of them ditch the masses who vote for them by shifting their political loyalties. They can stoop to any degree for personal gains. Social service is no longer on their exclusive agenda of amassing huge wealth.

Dr R.B. YADAV DEHATI, Fatehabad


What the country needs after the elections is a stable government — coalition or one-party rule — to meet the internal problems and external threats. The exit polls may be valid, but certainly these have a bearing on the mind of the voter, who is to cast his or her vote in in the subsequent phases of polling.

Since the general opinion of the people and political parties is to ban exit polls, a legislation should be enacted by Parliament to disallow such polls. In a vast country like ours, elections cannot be conducted in one phase as in the past. When these are to be hold in more than one phase, exit polls are bound to influence the voter’s verdict — fractured verdict —resulting in a hung Parliament or Assembly.

Over the years, violence, booth-capturing and even snatching of electronic voting machines (EVMs) have become common occurrences in the elections. Exit polls lead to such unwanted and sorry happenings. Not only this, the other day, share prices of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) have vertically crashed. The ball is in the voters’ court.

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (Hamirpur)


There is ample truth in H.K. Dua’s observation that hung Parliaments are gradually becoming the order of the day and that the future one may not be any different. Consequently, regional parties are likely to assert themselves, whether Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mr L.K. Advani may like it or not, Let us, therefore, learn to live with the coalition culture, as Mr Dua wisely counsels.

We need not unnecessarily feel perturbed as it is an inevitable phenomenon in the changed political scenario of the country. Coalition governments may not necessarily spell doom for the Indian polity. Whatever the form of government, it must have the welfare of the people on the top of its agenda.

All constituents of the coalition government should have respect for and understanding of each other’s objectives and goals. Compromise is not trickery but harmony in place of discord. Each partner should realise that others are not factors to be manipulated but forces to be reconciled. In other words, a coalition government should be based on consensus among the various constituents.

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi


Opinion and exit polls indicate that neither the BJP nor Congress would be able to form a government on its own and, most probably, the BJP- led NDA would be able to form the next government at the Centre. This time too, regional parties will play a crucial role in the formation of the next government.

At present, no one knows about the tricks these kingmakers will play as their future moves are not being made public. Some feel that Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has an understanding with Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee. At the same time, he has said that he would prevent the formation of a BJP-led government at any cost. Mayawati’s future plans are not clear. Of course, she has been speaking against forging any alliance with either the NDA or the Congress. Consequently, the bargaining power of regional parties will increase considerably as it would be difficult for the NDA or the Congress to capture power without their help.

Top political leaders should learn to respect the sentiments of regional parties so that the new government that comes to power at the Centre after May 13 is run in a spirit of accommodation.

Prof K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar


H.K. Dua’s prognosis that Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee will find it difficult to have a relaxed time after Elections 2004 succintly proves the adage, “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”. The misplaced trust by the BJP top brass in the dubious campaign slogans like India Shining and Bharat Uday is coming home to roost, with all the exit polls pointing to a dip in the electoral fortunes of the BJP and its comrades-in-arms.

Indeed, in the event of a fractured mandate by the electorate, Mr Vajpayee may have to deal with the likes of Mulayam Singh, Mayawati, Jayalaithaa and Sharad Pawar who will demand their pound of flesh. And the going may indeed be tough. Is it therefore, a moot point that, we are looking at a mid-term poll sooner or later?

M.K. BAJAJ, Yamunanagar

Triumph of democracy

Everyone in the small Indian community of Omaha Nebraska, US, is keenly interested in the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections in India. We often compare the computerisation of Indian polling with the cumbersome four-page ballot papers of Nebraska which may even appear incomprehensible to the educated elite.

The Indian democracy has come a long way. We wish that the politics of opportunism and demagoguery will fail to sway the populace in India. One has to admit that the American electorate will not be gullible to accept last-minute propping of famous faces as candidates for office. I will agree that the State of California is an exception in this regard.

I wonder if any Indian political party provided an opportunity to the brave warriors of the Kargil conflict to run for the high office. If our memory serves right, we remember that the politicians of every hue were falling backwards to eulogise the brave soldiers during the Kargil conflict.

Dr TARNJIT SAINI, Creighton University, Nebraska (USA)


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