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   I do not know about you but..... (August 4, 1996)

I do not know about you but I am finding the current election scene to be somewhat confusing. For instance, I want the Congress to lose, but I do not want the BJP to sin. Another win for the Congress, especially in the present conditions, would make it too confident and too uncaring for the people's requirements. It would mean a vote for corruption. But a win for the BJP would mean defeat of secular politics, a vote for communalists, a division among those who stridently insist on Hindutva and those who silently accept it as a fact of life and of history.

I would like Mr. Narasimha Rao to continue as prime minister, but I would much rather have Mr. Vajpayee as prime minister. And, whoever wins, I would like Mr. Manmohan Singh to continue as finance minister. Which, of course, is not likely, not even of Mr. Rao wins. And I do want Mr. Chidambaram, among the few qualified and intelligent ministers that we have, to continue in the cabinet, but not at the expence of having Mr. Moopanar the winner in whatever contest he is having within the Congress.

I am against all dissidents. If you do not like you party, you leave it, but not at the time of the elections. You leave it after the elections and you leave it an idological or moral principales, not because your party did not give you a ticket to contest the elections or your prime minister did not make you a minister.

But I would like Mr. Madhavrao Scindia to win, no matter in what capacity he is contesting the elections. And while I appreciate Mr. V.C. Shukla's decision not to contest the electins till the charges against him have been cleared, I do not want him to sin after that alsi. In my book, he is one of Mr. Gandhi's Emergency ministers, among the most active.

As for the Janata Dal, the third force or fourth force or whatever force it is, I believe it has lost my confidence and, hoepfully, the confidence of the public. But I want some of the members of the Janata Dal, who are among the cleanest in Indian politics, such as Mr. Madhu Dandavate, to win and even sit in the government.

As for the Left Front, I think Mr. Jyoti Basu is all right in Calcutta but I do not want him as PM of India. Imagine India having a communist government, even if it be communist only in name. The rest of the world would not understand it and the ‘New York Times' would never let us five it down. But then does the ‘New York Times' matter? It does.

So, then I stand, or do not stand. And, in any case, it makes little difference. I have only one vote and I can give it to either Mr. Murli Deora or one of his rivals.

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