Elections ’09

I will be taking part in the largest democratic elections in the world for the first time at the end of this month. Who do I vote for this time?

I am still confused. There is nothing much to choose between the congress and the BJP. The only thing that I have been sure about throughout is that the third front is a dubious idea.

One thing that makes me go for BJP this time is LK Advani. He comes across as a strong, ambitious man and he has experience at handling things at the top. This will be his last chance at history and I think he will not waste it. 

Rahul Gandhi has given a youthful face to the congress and his ideas are good. But he is one for the future. Maybe I will vote for him next time. 

Having said that, both the BJP and Congress can hardly claim to be national parties anymore. They concede more and more seats to regional outfits every elections. I suspect that even if they win all the seats they are contesting this time, they will not have a majority on their own. End result: regional satraps with hardly 20-30 seats like the mulayams, lalooos, karats, etc decide the national agenda.

I sincerely believe that the UPA would have achieved a lot more on the economic front during their five years had it not been for their alliance with the communists. The UPA would have handled terrorism with strong laws had it not been for allies who were afraid of alienating their minority votebank.

For the next elections, I dream of the BJP and the Congress dumping all their allies and contesting from all seats. I dream of a choice between two strong personalities, one of them Rahul Gandhi, fighting over real issues like the economy and national security.

And I believe Advani is the man who will do least damage until then.

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