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Blitz October 22, 1994

   Many are the crimes politicians commit to capture or retain power. They know
only too well that nothing is fair or foul in politics. With their actions, if
not with their words, they again and again prove themselves to be the most
adept practitoners and propagators of cynicism in public life.

   It is as sad as it is unfortunate that we are compelled to count Prime
Minister Rao among this pack of unprincipled politicians. Last week our Delhi
Bureau broke the story about a secret pact between the Congress president and
the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo, Kanshi Ram, for ensuring a Congress victory
in Andhra Pradesh. Our story has been picked up and endorsed by the lead news
report in The Asian Age of Oct.14, and other sections of the national press.

   And what is the deal? Kanshi Ram's party would put up no fight - or only a
token and friendly fight - against Congress candidates in the PM's home state.
In view of an extremely tough challenge expected from NT Ramarao's TDP, Rao's
election managers have calculated that victory margins would be very thin and
a swing of even 1% or 2% of total votes can make or mar the chances of the
Congress retaining power in AP. A secret pact with Kanshi Ram ensures that this
1% or 2% swing would go in favor of, rather than against, the Congress.

   The flip side of this secret deal is that the Congress High Command would
turn a deaf ear to the unanimous resolution of its very own UP unit of the
party to withdraw support to the discredited Mulayam Singh Yadav govt in UP,
in which Kanshi Ram's BSP is a coalition partner.

   It does not take much political intelligence to know why this deal belongs
to the most dishonest, cynical and malign category of politics. Kanshi Ram and
his consort in subversive politics, Mayawati, represent the very antithesis of
all the best traditions of the Congress Party. Both Kanshi Ram and Mayawati
have never hidden their contempt for the Father of the Nation. Indeed, in all
their public utterances they heaped only ridicule and derison on the Congress
Party itself. Their incendiary variant of caste politics has ignited hatred
and conflict in rural and urban India alike.

   And, yet, such are the poisonous politicians with whom Narsimha Rao has cut
a secret pact of electoral flirtation. Whether this dangerous liason will
bring victory of his party in AP - and thus ensure his own continued survival
at the helm of the Congress government at the Center -, only time will tell.
But the very fact that the president of the country's oldest and largest party
has had to prostrate himself before a vile politician like Kanshi Ram testifies
to the utter ideological and organisational bankruptcy that has come to afflict
the Congress these days.

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