India’s political future, thus, has four possibilities after the next elections:
- A Congress- or BJP-led majority government: this is the ideal scenario
- A Congress-or BJP-led minority government: the stability of this government will be dependent on the quantum of support needed from the smaller parties
- A Third Front government: this will be inherently unstable given that it is likely to cobble together 10-15 parties, with no clear anchor
- A Third Front government supported from inside or outside by the Congress or BJP: such a government will be at the mercy of its big ally, who could choose to withdraw support at any time. Also, given that many of the smaller parties compete with one or both of the national parties, it could be difficult to put such a formation in place
Given the anti-Congress sentiment that is prevalent, the BJP is perhaps best placed to start thinking how it could create a government at the centre in the next elections – with a majority of its own.