Early polls are inevitable, says BJP
Early polls are inevitable, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Friday, dismissing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assertion that the government would complete its five-year tenure.
Launching a direct attack against the prime minister, the main opposition party asked if he was looking forward to a third term and said people of the country were tired of his government.
"...The government will not last its full term and and mid-term elections seem to be inevitable," BJP leader Balbir Punj said Friday.
"Irrespective of what Dr. Manmohan Singh says, there is an atmosphere of instability around the government... That is why you have this speculation about mid-term elections," Punj told reporters.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday night said he was confident that the government would complete its term, which comes to an end next year around May.
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, meanwhile, scaled up the attack against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over his response to a question on his chances for a third term.
Replying to a query on whether he would go for a third term as prime minister, Manmohan Singh said: "We will cross that bridge, when we reach there."
"He (Manmohan Singh) did not deny his chances for a third term... It is said he is very reluctant politician, but he has shown his true political colours, being audaciously ambitious," Prasad said.
The BJP ruled out chances of a Third Front, and also any possibility of the party forging an alliance with the Samajwadi Party.
"Third Front is a past for Indian politics. It has neither relevance for present nor promise for future. People of the country have seen the Third Front, and those who advocate Third Front, I would like to tell them, it has always depended on Congress support," he said.
The BJP's comments come a day after Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said at a party meeting that the Lok Sabha polls were likely around November.
Prasad also took a jibe at Mulayam Singh, saying the SP should withdraw support to the government if it had so many complaints.
The SP chief, he said, had called the Congress a cheat and accused it of misusing the CBI and the income tax department. "I want to ask him why don't you leave Congress if you are troubled by them."
Asked if the BJP would look forward to an alliance with the SP, Prasad said: "Mulayam Singh and we never had a tie-up and will not... there is in-principle difference between us".
Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi reiterated the prime minister's statement to reporters on his way back from Durban summit of the BRICS leaders.
"Our government is very stable," Alvi told IANS, adding that elections would be held on time in 2014.
Asked about Mulayam Singh's comments, he said: "It may be his own opinion but it is our considered opinion that elections will be held at the right time."
The government has been in a tight spot after the Trinamool Congress pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance and withdrew support to the government last year. Its troubles increased when the DMK withdrew from the UPA over the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils.
The government is at present dependent on outside support of the SP and the Bahujan Samaj Party for its survival.
The government has also dismissed the idea of formation of a Third Front. Congress leader Manish Tewari Thursday said a Third Front was an "enduring mirage" of Indian politics.
(Posted on 29-03-2013)