While everybody would like the National Front government to continue and prosper, the question the people are aking is how, after having lost the support of 86 BJP members, is Mr. V.P. Singh going to prove his membership in the house on November 7.
This morning, I was talking to a member of the Janata Dal about this. "Oh, we are confident that Mr. V.P. Singh will have the majority," the member siad, looking very optimistic.
"That is the best news I have heard since the arrest of Mr. L.K. Advani," I said. "But how? It does not seem possible."
"Mr. Singh has his ways," the member said. "We cannot reveal his hand to you at this stage, you understand."
"Oh, quite," I said. "But though the people's best wishes are with him, nobody quite believes he can do it. After all, even with the BJP support, it was at best a narrow majority, so with the BJP out, how does he plan to swing it."
"Well, there are several plans. For one thing, Mr. Singh is planning to appeal to Congressmen, especially htose who care for old values, to cut across party lines and support his government in the interests of national integrity and secularity. The time has come to think lot of parties but of the country."
"Quite right," I said. "But if Mr. Singh is under the impression that Congressmen are going to think like that and join him, he is going to be disillusioned."
"As I said, this is just one of the plans, Mr. Singh is not completely dependent on the Congress," the member said. "Mr. Singh has got a stratgey by which the OBCs in the BJP will definitely join him. He may also convince Mr. Vajpayee to break the party and join him."
"If Mr. Vajpayee does that, well and food," I said. "But I don't think Mr. Singh should back on that. One thing about the BJP, they may be fanatics, but they don't change sides."
The member looked at me, little less optimistic this time, then said: "Mr. Singh would not say he would prove his majority on November 7 if he could not establish it. He has got a thousand different plans and he will employ the best one."
"Yes, but which one? The people want to know how Mr. Singh is going to prove his majority. Some of them are saying that he is only bluffing," I said.
"On November 7 people will know who is bluffing," the member said. "If everything else fails, Mr. Singh can always aske the new memebers of the Pakistan parliament to support him, though that may be difficult with Mrs. Benazir Bhutto losing."