It has become a joke by now. Every five years, a few months before the elections, the third front is formed. A motley group of political parties come together purportedly with the motive of presenting the electorate with a credible alternative to the two main political parties, the Congress and the BJP.
This time, the possibility of neither of the two main parties getting a majority is very high. This will throw up some very dangerous possibilities. One of the main parties supporting a government led by the Third Front is very much in the realm of possibility. This means that the Prime Minister could well be one among the umpteen aspirants from this Third Front.
Just thinking of someone like Mayawati becoming the Prime Minister sends shivers down my spine. And this kind of government is a recipe for disaster. With each party having its own agenda, the government will be pulled in different directions. Each leader will demand his pound of flesh.
We have seen the Left literally making the Congress government dance to its tunes for a while before Manmohan Singh asked them to take a walk. But not before long, the Samajwadi Party took the Left's place. And this, with the Congress having a large number of seats in the Lok Sabha. Imagine the pressure on the government when the Prime Minister's party has much fewer seats.
In the circumstances, it would be prudent to ensure that one of the two major parties wins a decisive victory in the elections. It appears that the Congress has a slight edge at the moment. I was a staunch Congress supporter until Sitaram Kesri took over as Congress president. At that point of time, I switched over to the BJP. I have been neutral from when the BJP started opposing the nuclear deal. I need to go one way or the other now.
I think the Congress has done fairly well at the center in the past five years. Manmohan Singh is a better bet than Advani. Advani's age is a major put-off. Manmohan Singh was quite decisive in managing the nuclear deal in the end. However, Sonia Gandhi remains a major negative in the Congress for me. I have no problem with Rahul Gandhi taking over from Manmohan after a few years. Dynastic politics is here to stay.
So, here it is - Vote Congress!