Saturday, September 7, 2013

2014 poll: Congress counting on smart political moves for another term

8SEP,2013-Eight months and one more full-fledged Parliament session before the country goes to the general elections, the political movers and shakers at the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA are working overtime to get their respective strategies right for the slog overs.

The surprise at this stage, however is that the Congress, which till a few months ago looked to be down and out courtesy of scandal and sluggishness, appears to have found its mojo in the political ring.

Outside that arena, economists and chambers of industry insist that mismanagement of the economy — rising inflation, a plunging rupee and seemingly inadequate efforts to control either — have finished off the UPA\'s prospects. Yet battle-hardened politicians, of both the UPA and in opposition camps, will whisper that nothing can be taken for granted in elections.

Otherwise, they point out, AB Vajpayee\'s NDA and its \"shining India\" would not have been ignored by voters in 2004. Thy also point out how UPA-1, after being chided by industry for \"letting the Left strangulate reforms\", got a second term in 2009. Conversely in 1996, the Congress was thrown out of power for the longest time in history, despite the Narasimha Rao regime firmly on the path to economic reform.

Seasoned politicians aver that victories and defeats at elections are not determined by a single factor but by a combination of different cards — which can either come together swimmingly or fall apart spectacularly at critical junctures.
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