A lot of people are saying that the present political situation is very complex and difficult to understand. Actually, it is quite simple, once it is explained to you. I will explain.
Mr. V.P. Singh is the prime minister and wants to continue to be one, though without the support of the Congress and minus any truck with the BJP. At the same time, he would not mind sitting in the opposition, though, if Mr. Chandra Shekhar becomes the prime minister, he would like the parliament to be dissolved.
Mr. Devi Lal does not want the Janata Dal to break-up, being the architect of it, though he has no objection to taking the congress support, as most Janata Dal men are ex-congressmen. He is also having talks with the BJP, whosesupport he can get it he becomes the prime minister.
Mr. Chandra Shekhar does not want to become the prime minister, but he has stakes his claim to the prime minister's post. His main concern is a change in the leadership, and, to this effect, for the last ten months he has been waying Ė V.P. Singh must go.
At the moment, Mr. Chandra Shekhar and Mr. Devi Lal are in friendly competition. Mr. Shekhar has been promised support by the Congress and he is sure they will not pull the rug under his feet as they did with Charan Singh. And, even if they do, he will be prime minister for some time, which is important.
Mr. Rajiv Gandhi would like to be prime minister tomorrow (to be exact, the day after, on November 7), but he has been advised to wait out another three months.
The BJP is supporting nobody and wants to it it alone, but it may support Mr. Devi Lal if he does not accept the leftist support. Neither Mr. Advani nor Mr. Vajpayee have said anything about becoming prime minister, but that is because in the BJP they do not talk about such things. As you can see, there are still some virtues left in the BJP, though very few.
The leftists are supporting Mr. V.P. Singh. The old Jan Morcha group of the Janata Dal, represented by Messrs. Arun Nehru, Arif Mohammed Khan and V.C. Shukla, is having talks with the leftists, the BJP, the congress, Mr. Devi Lal, Mr.Chandra Shekhar and Mr. V.P. Singh.
Then there are the Janata Dal Chief ministers in Gujarat and Orissa. They do not want to be prime ministers, but they want to continue as chief ministers.
There is one more point: It is being repeatedly said that all these behind-the-scenes efforts are being made to save the people from going through the trauma and expense of another election so soon after the last one. This may he true, though the chances are that a mid-term poll is being avoided not for the public, but for the politicians, eho want to save their own skins.