The government is not alone in its optimism in resolving the standoff with the Left on the nuclear deal with the United States. The main Opposition, BJP, too thinks that the crisis will wither away because no one, including the Left, wants a mid-term election.
The BJP’s top brass on Sunday reviewed the political situation at the residence of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which was attended by LK Advani, Rajnath Singh, Jaswant Singh, Arun Jaitley and Arun Shourie. They were of the view that the government and the Left would buy peace even though the crisis is bound to lead to polls sooner than later.
“We have discussed the political situation which may lead to early polls,” BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said, adding that his party was concerned about the crisis in government, which has “paralysed” governance. He alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s authority had been completely eroded. He also added that “We (BJP) will continue to press issues relating to nuclear deal and the release of Ottavio Quattrocchi, in Argentina, in the coming week in Parliament in order to put the government in the dock.”
BJP vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a press conference, “Clearly, mid-term polls may be up within the next four months. And you cannot rule out the possibility.” The NDA leaders will meet on Monday to discuss a strategy in Parliament in the light of latest developments.
Though Naqvi did not rule out the NDA leaders discussing the option of bringing a no-confidence motion against the government, BJP leaders said they did not wish to provide an opportunity to cement the cracks in the UPA-Left ties. Naqvi, who announced a farmers’ rally to protest the government’s policies on agriculture, said, “The BJP is concerned over the developments, which has pushed the country into a mid-term-poll kind of situation. If the situation warrants an election, we are ready for it.” Naqvi said top BJP leaders would lead a march to Parliament after the rally at Ramlila Maidan here on Monday, which will be addressed by Vajpayee, Advani and Singh.
Senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu told BJP workers at a function in Bangalore, “You must be ready for any eventuality as anything may happen anytime. The UPA government may collapse.”
BJP’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj, who also addressed the same function, said, “The government led by Manmohan Singh will lose power and early elections will be held.” She asked party workers to reach every house to maintain the “pro-BJP wave”.