New Delhi: The next Lok Sabha elections could take place later in the year with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) planning to face the electorate in September-October 2013. The advancement of the Lok Sabha elections which are scheduled to take place in April-May 2014 could be prompted by the hangings of Parliament attacker Afzal Guru and 26/11 convict Ajmal Amir Kasab.
The decision to hang Guru, who was sent to the gallows at 8 am on Saturday in Delhi's Tihar Jail, was taken at a Congress core group meeting to counter the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) resurgent Hindutva agenda, say sources. The timing of Guru's hanging just a few days before Parliament's Budget session is also an indication that the polls could be advanced. Kasab was hanged on November 21, 2012 at Pune's Yerwada Jail and after his hanging the government was keen to take a decision on Guru.
A good Budget is likely to give the UPA more breathing space and help it counter the opposition's charge that the government had failed to improve the economic health of the country. With a few state elections scheduled to take place in 2013, the Congress and its allies would be hoping to put up a better performance and then calling for General Elections.
Battling charges of massive corruption, policy paralysis and tackling terror cases with soft hands, the UPA has been forced to be the backfoot even as the opposition particularly the BJP has been attacking the Centre form every possible forum.