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   One point about the National Government requires to be discussed... (June 6, 1990)

One point about the National Government requires to be discussed. Who will be its prime minister?

You can't have Mr. Jyoti Basu, he is a communist. All over the world they are dropping communist leaders like ninepins and we can't have one as a prime minister. He may be all right for Calcutta, but then Calcutta is not India. Delhi is India.

And we can't have Mr. Rajiv Gandhi back, for obvious reasons.

Mr. Devi Lal seems to be the automatic choice, after all he has been deputy prime minister and would like to be prime minister. He is also said to have a strong base, though it may be only in Haryana, minus Meham. But no country can have Mr. Devi Lal as prime minister, unless temporarily and as a joke. It may as well have Mr. K.K. Tewary.

That means we may have to look to the BJP for a prime minister. I am all for Mr. L.K. Advani, but it would seem a little incongruous to have a prime minister through national co0nsensus and for a National Government somebody who is exclusively is Hindutva or whatever. It would be akin to making Mr. Bal Thackeray chief minister of cosmopolitan Bombay (Maharastra), though, perhaps, not as bad.

The same applies to Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, sad but true. And, come to think of it, though this does not certain to today's subject, besides Mr. Advani and Mr. Vajpayee the BJP has no leaders. Just think of it, if something were to happen to one of them, the BJP leadership would be reduced by 50 per cent. And if something were to happen to both of them (God forbid and all that), it would be reduced cent per cent.

We may have to look in the Congress for a National Government PM. But if after 40 years the Congress could not find a prime minister beyond the Nehru family, we are biot going to find one now.

And what about the state chief minister? I cannot see many people accepting the Lallus and whatever as prime minister. Mr. Sharad Pawar, perhaps. But wothout being a prime minister, he goes off on world tours, what would you except from him as a prime minister!

Mr. R.K. Hegde would not be bad. But the poor man is out of luck and I cannot see his luck changing.

Which brings us back to Mr. V.P. Singh. All said and done, I think, he makes the best prime minister. But why go to all the trouble of forming a National Government of which he can be prime minister when he is already prime minister of a National Front Government.

 
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