PMs in waiting?
I always fall about laughing when dead serious talk of a 'Third Front' emerges. This time I did my hyena imitation to perfection as well, despite the dismal failure of our two national parties in the Uttar Pradesh and Punjab elections. The grim future outlined by our perennially hysterical TV anchors did not stop my smirks. And, unlike Congress, I didn't even flinch when UPA allies were invited to the swearing-in of the two chief ministers.
"Let the regional parties dream," I said to my friends with an indulgent smile, "they can't harm the country that way." But suppose, just suppose, a Third Front does happen and lasts longer than a few hours when they all fight over the primus inter pares chair (and fight they will, particularly the egoistical Mamata Banerjee) and then break up bitterly. Let's briefly see how each of the regional party leaders would fare as the prime minister of India.
Shiromani Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal
Huh? Parkash Singh Badal who? Does the rest of India really know him? We may just believe that Manmohan Singh drank tonic on the sly and became taller and louder.
Samajwadi Party's Mulayam Singh Yadav
Get this right first – do not imagine for a second that if Samajwadi Party gets to form the government at the Centre, Mulayam will lovingly hand the PM's chair to his son. In the case of UP, it was a 'been there, done that' kind of decision. Also, it must have felt so good to say, "Nyaah nyaah nyaah, my son won the war", to Sonia Gandhi. Akhilesh as CM will be a constant reminder to Congress. Now on to Mulayam as PM.
Honestly, he's not a bad choice if (and this is a big 'if') Rick Santorum becomes president of the US. Both are virulently against educating the masses and they can have many cosy chats on why illiteracy is such a wonderful idea. If, however, an intelligent person becomes US president, Mulayam will just become a source of great entertainment to the world. And I'm saying this positively, because the mafia will flourish like never before and Hollywood may be inspired to create a never-ending series of Godfather-type movies that will captivate the world. The series could be called The Oddfather or even The Codfather, considering that there's something fishy about Mulayam.
Also, India will be in a stronger position than ever before because journalists from foreign publications will not dare to write anything negative about our beloved nation for fear of being gheraoed, beaten black and blue, or even fed to his cuddly friend Raja Bhaiyya's crocodiles.
Janata Dal (United)'s Nitish Kumar
While the rest of the nation will fervently hope that he does for India what the media gushingly tells us he did for Bihar, Biharis will be terribly upset and confused. Heck, where can they run to, now that Nitish is in charge of the whole country?
Nationalist Congress Party's Sharad Pawar
Cricket clubs will be set up everywhere. Alcohol will be banned or taxed heavily – only wine from Maharashtra will flow freely. And, of course, his family will become rich enough to buy a country – I'm not talking small fry, I'm talking about the US.
Ponchos will be the rage. That's about it, really.
Trinamool Congress's Mamata Banerjee
First, she will make the nation bankrupt by price roll-backs on everything possible while refusing to allow FDI in anything. The heavily taxed rich will hastily migrate to other countries, but of course. Thereafter, she will hold wealthy nations to ransom by demanding money for votes or walkouts at the UN and other very important global meetings. The rest of the world will eventually gang up against India and our nation will vanish in a pretty mushroom cloud.
On the other hand, she may be wonderful in her dealings with Pakistan. They really won't know what hit them when she starts airing her conspiracy theories. Hers are far more paranoid and imaginative than theirs.
Biju Janata Dal's Naveen Patnaik
Um, that polished English-speaking dude who heads a government in some state that the Maoists practically run, right? Naah. Too mild-mannered.
CPM's Prakash Karat
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hah! What more can I say?