CHURUMURI POLL: L.K. Advani versus ________?

Politics is a bit like chess. Besides making the right moves yourself, it is also about catching your opponent unawares. Sometimes the other side notices and neutralises the risk; sometimes it mounts an aggressive counterattack; sometimes it plays along as if nothing has changed; some times it ignores the threat en passant and opens a completely new line of attack. Buoyed by the Narendra Modi experiment in Gujarat, the Bharatiya Janata Party seems to be pursuing a simple gameplan: to put all its eggs in L.K. Advani basket and get the Congress to play to its terms.

The BJP president Rajnath Singh today asked the Congress to reveal its prime ministerial candidate for the elections to the Lok Sabha: “It is a strange situation. They have a Prime Minister but do not have a candidate for the prime ministership (who will lead in the coming polls). I would like to ask the UPA, who will be their candidate for the post of prime minister in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections? I don’t think the Congress will be able to answer this question.”

Questions: Is the BJP being oversmart in demanding to know who L.K. Advani‘s opponent will be? Or should the Congress and UPA announce and endorse their candidate like the NDA has? In a parliamentary form of government, should the general elections be fought like in an American presidential election, where everyone elects the prime minister? Or, are we better off choosing a local member of Parliament who will then (hopefully) take part in choosing the prime minister?

If it is Advani versus Sonia Gandhi, who will win?