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Bull's Eye

At the heart of the UP crisis is L.K. Advani's desperate need for a mid-term poll. Losing assembly elections in four states, a distinct possibility, would ...

Bull's Eye
At the heart of the UP crisis is L.K. Advani's desperate need for a mid-term poll. Losing assembly elections in four states, a distinct possibility, would expose his incompetence. The UP crisis began after his proposal for simultaneous polls in the Centre and states was rubbished.

Angered by the CBI probe on the Taj Mahal affair, chief minister Mayawati demanded Jagmohan's dismissal. Kalyan Singh claimed this was done at Advani's behest to force a mid-term poll. The PM rebuffed Mayawati. After retracting on Jagmohan's resignation, Mayawati ordered her partymen to prepare for a mid-term poll.

A mid-term poll in UP would normally have made simultaneous parliamentary elections advantageous for the BJP. In a Lok Sabha poll, BSP support for the BJP is crucial. That further weakens Vajpayee for recent events preclude his rapprochement with Mayawati. It strengthens Advani who remains her sympathiser.

The no-confidence motion in parliament expectedly produced insipid speeches and a comfortable government majority. But it also produced the letter written by a jail inmate to Indira Gandhi during the Emergency. The letter surfaced most curiously.

Advani unnecessarily attacked the Congress for the Emergency. Sonia Gandhi reacted by claiming she possessed a letter from an Emergency victim begging to be allowed to leave jail and return home. Chandra Shekhar demanded that the letter be laid on the table of the House. Advani supported Chandra Shekhar.

RJD member Raghuvansh Prasad Singh dramatically produced two letters, one from the late Balasaheb Deoras and another from an unnamed Emergency victim, presumed generally to be Vajpayee. The Deoras letter was a newspaper clipping and therefore dismissed by the Speaker. The Speaker did not allow the other letter to be read. He took possession of it to ascertain whether it should be placed on the table of the House. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh's leader, Laloo Yadav, is chummy with the Congress. So, there is no need to ask how Raghuvansh Prasad Singh obtained the letter.

Along with Advani, Sonia Gandhi would also want a mid-term poll. Simultaneous polls would help the Congress. Among its potential allies, each dominant state party would concede gain at the Centre for getting power in the state.

Were they all working in tandem?

Alas, to no avail. Backstabbing is mutual. Sooner or later Mulayam Singh could become CM. Chances of a mid-term poll will recede. The CBI will question Mayawati. This Monday Kalyan Singh deposes before the Liberhan Commission. The Ayodhya judgement comes two days later. Sometimes conspiracies spin out of control to devour their authors!

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