Hello and welcome to Walk the Talk. I am Shekhar Gupta and my guest this week, who else but Mr Brajesh Mishra, former National Security Advisor. Welcome to walk the talk and a very different setting today. I think our first conversation was on Shanti Path, between the Russian and Chinese embassies, I think.
Brajesh Mishra: Walking on the lawns.
•Shekhar Gupta: Walking on the lawns. I think the second was in front of parliament and now. I think the context also changes with time. And we meet a slightly pained Brajesh Mishra right now. Is that so?
Brajesh Mishra: If you are talking of the election.
•Shekhar Gupta: Yes, not the party man I know, but still.
Brajesh Mishra: My views are that I am neither pro-BJP nor pro-Congress.
•Shekhar Gupta: Right.
Brajesh Mishra: I have a vision of India. I have a reading of what is the national interest and I go by that. S whatever I say is not the criticism of the BJP or the Congress. These results as they have come out, they have shown three tendencies. On is the fear of the electorate particularly the middle class.
•Shekhar Gupta: Fear in the minds of the electorate.
Brajesh Mishra: Yeah, of the Third Front. I mean when they looked at the scene or is it Mayawati who is going to become the Prime Minister or is Chandrababu Naidu or...
•Shekhar Gupta: Deve Gowda...
Brajesh Mishra: ...or Deve Gowda or so and so, and they had no confidence in it.
•Shekhar Gupta: In fact they were paranoid.
Brajesh Mishra: They were worried that what will happen because they have had experience of this in 1989, 1990. You remember VP Singh and Charan Singh et cetera and then Deve Gowda and Mr Gujral, and the situation wasn’t very good. So they saw stability in the country when Mr Vajpayee became Prime Minister and remained so for six years and they saw stability when the Congress took over and Manmohan Singh became Prime Minister. It’s a stable situation moving forward. Of course, problems here and there. So they were not ready to accept a situation where, you know a group of parties getting together ...
•Shekhar Gupta: ...And then deciding the Prime Minister
Brajesh Mishra: This was not acceptable to them. The second reason was, in my view, that the campaign of the BJP was a negative campaign. Congress is weak, they haven’t