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Rediff.com  » Election » 'Time for real Manmohan Singh to show his mettle'

'Time for real Manmohan Singh to show his mettle'

May 16, 2009 16:48 IST

Electoral fortunes and the Delhi heat have left beads of sweat on the face on Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Consistently refusing to enter into any kind of analysis on the reasons behind the BJP's poor showing, he agreed to answer a few questions from Savera R Someshwar.

How do you react to the fact that the Congress has done so well in Uttar Pradesh?

We have not done so badly either, but the Congress has done better than us. I am also looking at the positive aspect of what has happened there -- Uttar Pradesh is once again returning mainstream political parties to the Centre. That is a huge positive development.

There are some long term lessons and some short term lessons behind what has happened in this election. The BJP is a party that looks at the long term and is not given to panic reactions.

What went wrong in Delhi?

Please talk to the Delhi spokesperson for a reaction to Delhi-related questions.

Are you happy that the Left will have no role in government formation?

I've always said the Left is the biggest left out of Indian politics, and this time is a confirmation of that. The Left has always sought to have a larger than life portrayal of itself not just now, but since the 1970s they have given themselves the sole monopoly to determine the course of the country's politics.

This drubbing which they have got in their stronghold is a reflection of the fact that the people are not happy with the performance of the Left in West Bengal and Kerala.

Do you think without the Left the economy will do better?

I regret to say that, even without the Left, the record of the [United Progressive Alliance] government was not so good -- but this is not the occasion to discuss that. Now it is the time for the real Manmohan Singh, the economist Manmohan Singh, to show his mettle in stemming the rot of the manufacturing sector, the industrial sector, the agricultural sector.

What worked for you in Bihar?

First and foremost, as the good governance of the BJP-JDU combine, the NDA; Nitish Kumar's personal image and performance; and the way Lalu Prasad misgoverned not only in Bihar but also in Delhi. This is the reaction for that.

The most important thing is that Bihar has shown that politics need not be based on caste. That is a paradigm shift.

Which state were you most disappointed with?

Obviously Rajasthan. We will have to analyse what went wrong there. It is difficult if you expect an instant state-wise analysis. The MNS has affected the result in Maharashtra. From the nine seats in Bombay and Thane, we have won only one.

Savera Someshwar