What if BJP backs the Congress on the N-deal?

SHRINIDHI HANDE writes from Madras: It may sound absurd, of course. But I see great benefit to the BJP if it chooses to suppress its political rivalry with the Congress for a few months and support the Manmohan Singh government on the Indo-US nuclear deal.

For months now, the left parties have been holding the UPA government to ransom on the n-deal. The differences between the two has even brought their relationship to break point. The Congress is desperately hunting for prospective allies, like the Samajwadi Party, to save the government.

What we are seeing right now is political opportunism of the obnoxious kind. But…

What if the BJP came to the Congress’ rescue?

After all, there’s no rule that an opposition party shouldn’t support the ruling party. After all, it was the BJP government headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee that had given flight to the nuclear dreams the second time round in Pokhran, a decade ago.

If the BJP can bury their animosity for the Congress, I believe this will help create history.

Here’s how:

1) It would send a strong message to the nation and the world that the BJP will not its political rivalry with the Congress come in the way of “supreme national interest”.

2) Such a move would surely impress lots of voters who may not see the BJP the way the BJP would like to see them. This could be encashed by the party in the next general election.

3) The general elections are less than a year away. So the timing would be just perfect, and the BJP’s magnanimity will be fresh in the minds of voters till that time.

4) The BJP will earn the applause of the electorate for putting national interest above its own interests, for saving the government, and for avoiding a mid-term poll.

5) Backing the Congress will help the BJP clip the wings of its arch rivals, the left parties, who have been contributing nothing to the nation’s progress, but setting hurdles in its path at every opportunity. The BJP’s move will drastically reduce the importance of left parties altogether.

6) Manmohan Singh was never able to think and act on his own, as he always had to bow to the demands of his allies. By saving his government and allowing him to complete his term, the nation and the world will be able to see if he is capable of doing anything bold and effective. If he succeeds, good for him and good for the country. If he fails, good for the BJP.

Do you see any harm in the BJP backing the Congress on the nuclear deal? Does the BJP have the large heart required for this? Does the Congress have the humility to accept such support? Will such a move help restore the trust of the people in politics and politicians?