The Ministry of Defense, closely watching the ongoing electoral exercise, has noticed the apprehensions of various countries regarding the eventual new government and their defense trade and strategic relationship with India.
“The US is very obviously concerned. Only the exceedingly naïve would believe the US envoy’s meeting with Prime Minister-in-waiting LK Advani and the Telegu Desam Party’s Chandrababu Naidu to be a mere courtesy call. They would obviously prefer the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) to form the government. Any Congress government would necessarily be subject to the agenda of the Left parties, especially now that they have declared their refusal to be bound by any ‘Common Minimum Program’ of any alliance they may support, even tacitly. They have learned from their experience with the Congress in the last government,” explains one officer.
The US is also concerned about securing a partnership with a sympathetic government in India in the light of its Af-Pak strategies. “They are waiting for the formation of a new government to see how best they can secure their interests in the region in the event of a possible worst-case scenario. Obviously any government that has even the tacit participation of the Left would not be ideally forthcoming,” he says.
Russia is also perceived to be worried about the formation of an BJP-led government. While so far the UPA government has been quietly negotiating with Russia over the price hike demanded by them over the aircraft carrier Gorshkov, the BJP has recently come out strongly against any unjustified and arbitrary price escalation. “Why do you think Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced the delivery of the accident-struck Nerpa submarine to India earlier this week after the Defense Secretary’s visit to Moscow last week?”, asked another officer, referring to the submarine that has been due to be leased to India for ten years.