Mulayam hints at possibility of alternative coalition govt. at Centre
Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav has appealed to voters in Uttar Pradesh to vote for him, while hinting at the possibility of a Third Front non-Congress non-BJP government at the Centre after the April-May general elections.
Addressing a rally of party supporters in Gorakhpur Mulayam predicted that neither the Congress nor the BJP would be able to cobble up the required number of parliamentary seats to form the next government at the Centre, and added that people can expect regional parties to form an alternative coalition government after the polls.
"The government, which will be formed in Delhi, will not be formed without the support of the Samajwadi Party. This will be the first time ever that both the Congress and the BJP won't have a majority. Third Front parties are getting the majority support," Yadav said.
A clutch of regional parties have been meeting frequently of late to discuss plans to form an alliance before the national elections.
The Congress Party has led coalition governments for the past decade, but faces an uphill struggle to win re-election this year due to a string of corruption scandals and sagging economic growth.
The opposition BJP, on the other hand, is predicted to win the largest chunk of seats in the 543-seat Lok Sabha, but expected to fall short of achieving a majority, according to two opinion polls last month.
Regional parties and their often charismatic leaders have become more powerful national players in recent years.
In recent days, some prominent state-level leaders have sealed alliances or spoken about a so-called Third Front.
A government made up of several regional groups with diverse agendas could prove unwieldy, a potential problem for Asia's third-largest economy, whose growth has tumbled to a decade low due to the slow pace of reforms under the Congress Party's watch.
Any Third Front would need to work hard to counter the popularity of BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, analysts say.
Modi, who has presided over rapid economic growth during more than 12 years as chief minister of Gujarat, has been wooing voters by pointing to his track record as a leader who cuts red tape and attracts investment.
Indian media often presents the 2014 elections as a face-off between Rahul Gandhi, best known for his famous last name, and Modi, who has been lauded by Indian corporate leaders and foreign companies for his business-friendly policies in Gujarat.
BJP's strong showing in the recent polls in four states has boosted the momentum for Modi in the run-up to the national election.
(Posted on 16-02-2014)