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   Now that the mid-term poll is more or less definite... (October 9, 1990)

Now that the mid-term poll is more or less definite, the question that arises is: who will win?

The Janata Dal is out, I mean, a party that has been elected to power cannot itself call an election after one year in power and expect to be re-elected. And if the Janata Dal is out, then, of course, Mr. V.P. Singh is also out. The man who was once the greatest asset of the party has now become its greatest liability, same as Mr. Rajiv Gandhi.

You may then ask: what about Mr. Singh's reservation policy? Surely that should get him all of casteist north and pockets of casteist south. And, as they say, he who wins the north, rules India.

True, but if the reservation bill is going to help anybody, it will help Mr. Sharad Yadav and Mr. Ram Vilas Paswan…and nor Mr. V.P. Singh. And the two are too much of lightweights to carry the entire country on their winning wave.

So if a mid-term poll is held, which will it be, will the Congress-I win? Never, and that is not just hopeful thinking. When the party lost the last time, the bottom was knocked out of it. And it will take more than a year and pro and antireservation riots for it to repair and refurbish its image.

Besides, it still has Mr. Rajiv Gandhi at its ahead, and though he has been slient and discreet for a while, once the mid-term polls are announced, he will again start talking…as he already has.

That does not leave much choice. The BJP is there, no doubt, better organised, more alert, more ready to take over than last year, but when Mr. V.P. Singh burnt his boats by announcing the reservation policy, he burnt the BJP's bridges along with it. In the present circumstance, it will be impossible for the BJP to present a manifesto that would attract votes from other side.

The liftists do not matter. They do not count in the world and it is about time they stopped pretending that they counted in India.

So that means that a mid-term poll will lead to a stalement and chaos. And to avoid that, there is only one solution-not to have a mid-term poll. Instead, the next time Mr. V.P. Singh offers to resign, his resignation should be instantly accepted and he should be replaced by Mr. Devi Lal.

The trouble is: Mr. V.P. Singh will never again offer to resign. That, I am giving in writing.

 
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