What will happen if the India Alliance wins? Justice Katju's article

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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If INDIA alliance wins

By Justice Markandey Katju

Speculation is rife in India about the prospective results of the forthcoming parliamentary elections, to be held in 7 phases commencing from 19th April this year, the results to be known on 4th June.

The ruling BJP is being opposed by the 41-member opposition INDIA alliance

Though most believe that the ruling BJP with its allies will win a majority in the 543 seat parliament, we may consider what will happen if this does not turn out true,and the INDIA alliance wins a majority, and forms the government.

1. The first question would be who will be the Prime Minister? Though Rahul Gandhi will be a strong contender, other parties in the alliance may not agree.

Hence the alliance may agree to have Prime Ministers from different parties for limited terms, proportionate to their numbers in parliament. Thus during the 5 year term of the Indian parliament (unless it is dissolved earlier ) India may have 41 Prime Ministers, though with varying tenures in office. Though unprecedented, there is nothing in the Indian Constitution against this.

2. Then will come the question of distribution of portfolios. All members of the alliance will have an eye on the lucrative 'wet' ministries, e.g. finance, industries, commerce, etc and none will seek the 'dry ones like women's welfare, social development, sports, etc. This distribution can also be done for fixed tenures, and proportionate to the numerical strength of the members of the alliance.

3. As for the Indian media, it will do a complete somersault and 180 degree turn, switching from supporting the BJP ( as most are doing presently ) to extolling the virtues of the alliance. This is because most of the Indian media houses are owned by big businessmen, who would naturally like to be on the right side of the new government, to protect their business interests. None would like the ED ( Enforcement Directorate ), the CBI ( Central Bureau of Investigation ), or income tax officials come chasing after them, as is happening these days.

4. There will be pressure on the new government leaders to institute ED, CBI or income tax cases against BJP leaders, and such cases will consume the entire period of INDIA's tenure and nothing else will be done, as it happened in the Janata Party rule from 1977-79 when cases against Indira Gandhi and other Congress leaders were instituted in huge numbers.

5. There will be balkanisation of the country, with regional party leaders almost declaring themselves independent satraps, as it happened under the later Mughals after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707.

6. Muslims may feel some relief after the nightmarish 10 year BJP rule of atrocities and discrimination against them

7.The economy will keep tanking and nose diving, with poverty, unemployment, child malnutrition, price rise etc increasing rapidly.

8 The Indian people will start cursing the new government a short time after its installation.

(Justice Katju is a former Judge, of the Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, the Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own)

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