Mahagathbandhan government in India
A political satire
Mahagathbandhan (Grand Coalition) government
Last night, I saw in my dream that at long last, what the non-NDA leaders had been aspiring since May 2014, happened. When the results of general election came, they had outnumbered the NDA. Immediately, they all gathered and formed a Mahagathbandhan, a Grand Coalition in the history of any democracy and decided to call upon the President to invite their leader to form the government.
The million-dollar question yet to be answered was, ‘who will be the leader’ and, therefore, the Prime Minister? Every constituent had at least one claimant. Every constituent of the coalition, even a party with only one member in the Lok Sabha, was important. Anyone was in a position to tilt the political balance.
One member of a party suggested that ‘every member of the parliamentary coalition party should enjoy the status of Prime Minister. All MPs should be made ministers enjoying equal rank, the rank a prime minister.’
Such This ‘revolutionary’ idea had to be dropped because of the constitutional provision that there can be only one prime minister and the total number of ministers cannot exceed 15% of the strength of the Lok Sabha.
“The Constitution has to be amended to reflect people’s will”, somebody suggested.
Some elderly and more experienced members suggested that every party should be given chance to provide a Prime Minister PM and every member should get opportunity to get a berth in the Council of Ministers. Ministers, other than the PM, should be called Special PM Additional PM, Joint PM, Deputy PM. He said, if in the bureaucracy, there could be A Special Secretary, Additional Secretary, Joint Secretary, and Deputy Secretary, why not in the Council of ministers? He further suggested that, no one should be PM or minister for more than 3 months continuously. 81 MPs could be accommodated in one Council of ministers. The formula would give more than one opportunity to everybody. The suggestion was widely cheered.
But the question, who should be the first PM remained.
Rahul Gandhi of Congress declared that he had the best claim because he belonged to the family that had liberated India from the British rule and he liberated India from the Modi rule; as the scion of the dynasty, he had the first claim.
This was not acceptable to Mayawati. “I may not have as much number as Rahul has but I know, people want to see a poor Dalit’s poor daughter as their prime minister.”
This was not acceptable to Mamata Banerjee who claimed that Modi had to go only because of her. Mayawati threatened to withdraw and join the NDA which, according to her, was ready to make her Prime Minister. “Moreover, this year we would be celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. As a tribute to him, a Dalit should be the first PM,” she played her trump card.
That made everybody nervous.
The fear of Mayawati going to the NDA plus the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi tilted the balance in her favour.
They heeded to her pressure but she put one more condition. ‘I should be made PM once again in 2022 when the country would be celebrating 75th year of Independence.” That condition was also accepted.
She was ‘unanimously’ elected leader. The President invited her to form the government.
The first Cabinet meeting took three major decisions:
- Approval of Special Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi’s proposal that all inquiries going on against any member of the Grand Alliance should be dropped forthwith.
- Approval of joint proposal of Special PMs, Raul Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee, that all the investigating agencies, from CBI to income tax department, should be ordered to conduct detailed investigations to collect material on the basis of the cases could be filed against Narendra and the members of his Council of ministers.
- Approval of Prime Minister Mayawati to construct Ambedkar Parks in all, large as well as small, cities of the country. She claimed that this should be the biggest employment generation programme ever launched in any country. Every park would have statues of Lord Buddha, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Manywar Kanshi Ram and Sushree
All the proposals were unanimously approved.
The dream changed. The time jumped from 2019 to 2022
Prime Minister Mayawati inaugurated the G-20 meeting. Her advisers had explained to her the meaning and purpose of G-20. She had got a paper prepared to be read before the Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the meeting. Of course, her address was in Hindi.
Before going to the meeting, she asked her advisers whether those attending the meeting could be asked to leave their shoes outside the hall. “You know, I am very allergic to dust. These fellows will be bringing dust from all over the world. I don’t want to fall sick.”
Her advisers were taken aback. With great difficulty, Special PM in charge of the Ministry of External Affairs explained to her that it was not possible because those attending were Presidents and PMs of world’s most powerful countries. Mayawati yielded but ordered that a doctor must accompany her to the meeting hall and keep injections and medicines ready for any emergency.
On her own part, she had taken every care to make herself worthy of the occasion. She had spent 2 hours in her personal parlour.
Before the meeting started, shook hands with all the dignitaries. After shaking hands, she rushed to the washroom. Her doctor followed her. In the washroom, she got her hands disinfected.
Addressing the gathering, she said, “You should feel honoured that you have got an opportunity to meet a Dalit Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy. I am a poor daughter of a poor Dalit. You know, for 5 years my country was ruled by a fake OBC fellow who ruined the country. Our Grand Alliance government is rebuilding the country. I have created a record number of jobs. If you get opportunity, please go to different cities and see beautiful parks……”
During her 15 minutes of speech, she rarely raised her head to see the distinguished members of G-20.
At the end of the speech, she announced, “You know, our democracy is very accommodating, very liberal. We believe that the leader of every constituent party should get opportunity to serve the country as Prime Minister. My current term expires in the midnight. Tomorrow, he would be meeting my successor, Mamata Banerjee.”
The Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the meeting had been listening with rapt attention. In the dream it was not clear whether they were shocked or highly impressed. Anyway, at the end of her speech they clapped. Their clapping made Mayawati feel proud of herself. She obliged them by waving her hands.
However, I remember that after hearing Mamata Banerjee’s name, the dignitaries looked at each other, then looked at their hands.
After the meeting, international as well as domestic airports of New Delhi were closed for all domestic flights. The airports were heavily guarded. Thousands of security persons had surrounded the airports.
As I saw in the dream, they were heavy activities at the airports. After the activities were over, the world learnt that all the Presidents, Prime Ministers and their teams had returned to their respective countries.
Mamata Banerjee was heard saying, ‘You see, I’m so strong that no leader in the world has courage to face me.’
I woke up sweating. Thank God, it was a dream. I thought, if this becomes a reality, we must appreciate decisions of the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the member countries to return before shaking hands with Mamata Banerjee. Who knows, whether she will extend her right hand to shake or to do something else!
May 16, 2019
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