New Delhi: Nationalist Congress Party: This is another dynastic organization headed by Sharad Pawar and its reigning ideologies are corruption and loot. Pawar hopes that the party would pass into the control of his daughter after him but his nephew, Ajit, a sort of gangster politician of Maharashtra, would not permit an easy transition. Sharad Pawar may be a big fish in Delhi and Bombay and in the national cricket board but Ajit more or less controls rural Maharashtra and even its western sugar belt that was once the citadel of the Maratha strongman.

Because the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party were not up to speed in Maharashtra, the default winners were Sharad Pawar’s party and the Congress, with Bombay being the prize, a great milch cow as anyone on the inside track knows. Together, both these parties have destroyed the great city, but there may be reprieve for it from a Narendra Modi wave in the state, which can no longer be denied, and this also means the end of the good times for Sharad Pawar. More than any other Union minister, Pawar is responsible for the high food prices, and with the Congress going down, he would try to bail out, as he has in the past, and the Bharatiya Janata Party beware of his feelers.

If Prakash Singh Badal was once the country’s biggest farmer, Pawar was the richest politician. Surely, others would have overtaken him now, but then ten years of the United Progressive Alliance have not been altogether damaging for his wealth creation. His ego might have been hurt when someone slapped him in Delhi around the time of the Anna Hazare agitation, but his diligent profiteering from office has not diminished to any noticeable degree.

Sharad Pawar says he is through with active politics, but if there was a chance of becoming prime minister, he would enrol for the marathon tomorrow. But basically, he is finished, although he cannot be forgiven for the killer food prices. He would rate as the country’s worst agriculture minister, and his party the most expedient that India has had the misfortune to have. Rating of the Nationalist Congress Party: Zero.

Samajwadi Party: When the Mulayam Singh Yadav dynasty swept the Uttar Pradesh election, and Akhilesh Yadav became the chief minister, many hoped and believed that the backward state would be transformed. This writer begged to differ. Straightaway, he put Akhilesh in the category of failed dynasts such as Omar Abdullah and Rahul Gandhi, and subsequent events have proved so.

The Samajwadi Party is a dynastic party. It cannot have a governing vision. A dynastic party’s first and last objective is to preserve the dynasty. Such being the case, where is the scope for governance and vision that aspiring India seeks? As someone wrote, the Samajwadi Party is an association of “uncles”. They are the brothers and cousins and long-time aides of Mulayam Singh Yadav, and the former wrestler with national ambitions holds the whiphand.

Criminals, extortionists and land-grabbers abound in the Samajwadi Party. They are not present in such large numbers in most of the other parties. People in the know will tell you that the Muzaffarnagar riots were programmed by the land mafia because the area serves as a transit for the hill state of Uttarakhand. That the Samajwadi Party is a manner of a mafia organization has been long known. Some of its leading lights have been involved in ransom kidnapping, a source of income too when Laloo Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal was in power.

But the Samajwadi Party is headed for a rout in Uttar Pradesh. A Narendra Modi wave is visible here as well. Modi’s rallies have a huge turnout, outshining Rahul Gandhi’s, whose party has had to ship crowds from Delhi to make up for the thin attendance. Mayawati’s Dalit base will largely remain intact but the Samajwadi Party and the Congress will be depleted by the Bharatiya Janata Party. The writing is on the wall.

How could the Samajwadi Party collapse so soon? Part of the reason is that Uttar Pradesh is coming out of Mandal politics. The electorate is giving clear mandates for governance. Mayawati received it first and now the Samajwadi Party. Instead of understanding the mandate and working to fulfil it, Mulayam Singh Yadav fell back on Mandal and communal politics. The criminal tendencies of the Samajwadi Party also came to the fore.

The Samajwadi Party would still have got by except for two reasons. The first was the Muzaffarnagar riots, coming in the train of other sectarian disturbances, which exhibited the Akhilesh Yadav government’s complete disinclination and inability to control them. Mulayam Yadav was perhaps of the opinion that pandering to communalism would keep the regime safe. The electorate thought differently. The second reason for the blight of the Samajwadi Party has been Narendra Modi. Uttar Pradesh suddenly sees hope for governance and change in this man, someone who will pull the state out of backwardness, which generations of local politicians have conspired to trap it in. Bad times are here for the Samajwadi Party. Rating: Zero.

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam: Jayalalithaa Jayaram’s party is on a strong wicket for the 2014 election on account of the chief minister’s own decisive performance and because of dynastic troubles in the rival Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam of Muthuvel Karunanidhi. Although out of the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre, Karunanidhi’s party will take flak for the Central regime’s corruption and loot of the country. His daughter, Kanimozhi, also went to jail in the 2G scam. The net beneficiary of all this would be Jayalalithaa. As the Congress simultaneously declines in the state, the Narendra Modi effect will be felt to the advantage of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

But in the long term, Jayalalithaa’s party has problems, which may not be unlike those to be faced by Mamata Bannerjee’s Trinamool Congress and Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party. All three formations being led by strong-minded women, there is no second-line leadership in place. Jayalalithaa has prime ministerial ambitions which may remain unmet but who is after her in the party? There is nobody with her national presence and leadership qualities. Being dictatorial, she has not permitted talent to flourish. Although not a dynastic party like the Congress, there is equally no organic growth in the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Which is why, this writer believes, in five to ten years, or perhaps less, Tamil Nadu will return to national parties. To be sure, there are strong regional currents, such as with the Sri Lanka Tamil issue, but it is nothing that cannot be gently assuaged by a national party. Indeed, if Narendra Modi is able to provide good governance, the architecture of regional politics in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere will dramatically change.

But although that pertains to the future, it also tells on the limited viability of regional parties. Jayalalithaa’s party does not suffer the usual regional formation’s inability to furnish quality government, but the absence of a structured leadership is a nagging issue. It is not apparent that Jayalalithaa engages with any seriousness in that direction, but for the longevity of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, it may be imperative. It is all the more important to ensure that another formation does not take the place of the shrinking and rived Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Rating: 5 out of 10.

Please also read “The party begins...1”and “The party begins...2”

To be continued...