The broad message that has emerged from the just concluded assembly elections in five states is..
IT IS but natural that under the given circumstances, other political parties take advantage of the miseries of the UPA II. Strike while the iron is hot is their philosophy. Therefore, the invitations that have been sent out by Parkash Singh Badal, chief of the SAD to J Jayalalitha, and Mamata Banerjee to attend his swearing-in ceremony are significant developments.
Also present at the ceremony would be the Chief Ministers of non-Congress ruled states like Gujarat (Narender Modi), Himachal Pradesh (Prem Kumar Dhumal) and Madhya Pradesh (Shivraj Singh Chauhan) as also Bihar (Nitish Kumar) and Orissa (Naveen Patnaik). The ceremony would be held in the Chapar Chiri Banda Bahadur Memorial in Ajitgarh district, about 50 Km from Chandigarh. The possibilities of the leaders engaging in closed-door meetings to discuss the creation of a 3rd front cannot be ruled out – in fact many observers feel that this could be a main point in the agenda. The National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) bill had to be shelved by the center because of protests by the CMs of non-Congress ruled states – that was one point where they expressed solidarity. Others who might attend the swearing-in ceremony are L K Advani, Nitin Gadkari, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Vasundra Raje. These developments do not speak well of the future – and the Congress also must be realizing that no matter how bold face they put up, they are at a disadvantage.