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COLUMN | Political battles drawn: No winners, no losers yet
By Arun Nehru
The Congress party embarks on the mid term correction both in the Government and in the Party in preparation for 2014. There are 10 crucial Assembly elections due and in addition to this a volatile situation exists both in Karnataka and in Andhra Pradesh and the ‘new’ team will face instant challenges and this start with both Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat. A million words will be written on the changes and depending on which side you tilt you will find the positives and the negatives to correctly assess the situation you have to see this along with the changes in the party. The Congress party is getting prepared for electoral battles of the future and once the organization changes are announced a clear picture will emerge.

The Congress and the BJP are both placed in my opinion at 150 seats and the Regional parties between 250-260 seats and there could be a tilt towards the Regional forces on the upside with the situation both in Andhra and Karnataka. I think the Congress and BJP will struggle to reach the figure of 150 seats and in the Regional parties also there is a change as we see the BSP challenge the SP in UP, we see the Left challenge the TMC in Bengal and in Tamil Nadu there are changes within the AIDMK coalition which can result in a re alignment of forces and we see new Regional forces erupting in every State and it is far to early to determine if these will make a impact. Changes here will not vary as one Regional force may gain over the other in many States.

All I would advise everyone is not to count their chickens before they are hatched as today there are no winners or loser only contestants and I think the Congress have got a start in making mid term surgery in the government and the party will follow in a few days and now it is the turn of the BJP to initiate their changes. Change is never easy in this situation and both the parties will require a great deal of skill to contain dissent as everyone is trying to place their political survival instincts before the party interest and this is normal as elections draw near.

The BJP have issues at the top and these have to be resolved now or can be postponed to a future date but I think it would be wise to remember that a ‘vacancy’ at the top can lead to a form of Civil war and sadly the BJP President for the second time is injury prone and there is a issue to be resolved by end December when the term is over and the extent and form of the injury is rather deep and a instant solution is necessary. A solution is only a reality if everyone at the Centre stops being a contender for 2014. I must admit that I am a little baffled by the behaviour pattern of the BJP High Command on Nitin Gadkari and is there is no moral high ground in multiple shell companies, fake addresses which are being corrected now and can cooks, drivers, bakers and grocers justify investments of many crores when they have no assets.

TV Channels and the print media come under public scrutiny and I think as they enter the political arena and some play politics I think it is important for all TV channels to declare the share holding or loans given by Corporate houses and it is no secret that while many TV Channels show losses these are not reflected in the assets of the owners or select executives and in these situations it is only natural that stances and tilts can take place and the case involving Jindal Steel and Zee TV has only bought a issue which has been festering for some time in the public domain. We have also seen legal issues framed in the Salman Khurshid/India Today issue and in the future ‘sting’ operations and reports on graft may well require greater scrutiny within the media before views are expressed and this will only add to the credibility of the media.

No secrets that Corporate wars are being waged at many levels and the media is not exempt and as baseless allegations are made on rumors against one Corporate house are we to assume that the media house concerned represents the views of the rival or rivals? Today due to competitive pressure the electronic media who are looking for ‘scoops and spills’ for their competitive survival and there is a greater transparency required and what is true of all the three wings of governance may well be true of the media?

We have had a survey on both Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh and while the former shows Narender Modi as a clear winner and is not a surprise the Himachal predictions indicates a dead heat between the Congress and the BJP and we are heading for a political auction.

In the State and even a single Independent MLA can make a difference. I think both sides can claim victory as the BJP would survive a anti incumbency wave and the Congress a whole lot of negative publicity in the media and anti incumbency at the Center. A close result indicates the local issues have prevailed and I think this is what we see in both the States under review.

We are in the age of the Social media, we are in the age where there are few secrets and we are in the age when technology has advanced to a stage when few will wait for the facts to emerge and everyone has a tendency to fire from the hip! Things will find their direction as time goes on but for those who have to take decisions and for those who have a little patience and believe in the rule of law it is necessary to pause and think a little before you act. I do not believe in the conspiracy theory from ‘outer space’ but in a uncertain atmosphere anything can pass for the ‘truth’ and what disturbs me is that we destroy more than we create and we are inviting anarchy.

Political battles are always welcome and I feel saddened by acidic comments made on individuals and as someone wise commented that sometimes men forget that half the population on the globe is women and the other half come from women!
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News Updated at : Saturday, November 3, 2012
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