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Running a minority government

By Uday Dandavate | PUBLISHED: 10, Jan 2014, 16:20 pm IST | UPDATED: 11, Jan 2014, 15:58 pm IST

Running a minority government I often hear criticism of Aam Adami Party taking support of the congress party to form a government. The latest to criticise it is Ms. Kiran Bedi, who has now openly come out in support of Narendra Modi and has obliquely criticized AAP for allowing the congress party to usurp power from the back door.

Well, as a person who was against AAP forming a the government with congress support, I hold a more objective view of the sitution. Let us take a historical perspective.

Narasimha Rao, often touted by the media as the pioneer of liberalization in India, completed a full term as the Prime Minister while leading a minority government. The Congress had won 232 seats in the 1991 Lok Sabha polls and its ally the AIADMK, had won 11, well short of the half way mark. While historians criticise him for the JMM Bribing scandal and for his tacit connivance in allowing demolishing of the Babri Masjid, I have not heard anyone call him a captive of his supporters from other parties (or independents).

During the fourth Lok Sabha, Indira Gandhi engineered a split in the congress party, which reduced her government to a minority status. She continued to govern with support of CPI until she called an early election after the Bangla Desh war. Nobody remembers Indira Gandhi's tenure during the fourth Lok Sabha as a puppet government managed by the CPI.

Who wears the pant in a coalition government depends on who commands a leadership position by virtue of their ability to take bold and popular decision. On the other hand we have also witnessed minority governments where the Prime Ministers were too willing to reciprocate the favor of fulfilling their lifetime ambition through subtle yet definite subservience to the supporting congress party. The congress party has always been an arrogant supporter of a minority government. However this time they are getting the taste of their own medicine at the hands of the AAP- a team that is determined to show courage and leadership in demolishing the corrupt system.

So, Mrs. Kiren Bedi, you may have chosen to ride the wrong horse at the wrong time. India is ready to experiment and has woken up to the idea that an alternative to corrupt congress need not be the regressive ideology of RSS.