Only a broad coalition of parties, including the Congress, can challenge the NDA in 2019, the MOTN survey suggests. But who gets to lead the march?
39 PER CENT FEEL RAHUL GANDHI’S PERFORMANCE AS THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE CONGRESS PARTY HAS BEEN GOOD/ OUTSTANDING
EVER SINCE 1977, Indian democracy has alternated between single-party dominance and a grand alliance among several parties. In the past, the Congress was the dominant party; since May 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party has assumed that mantle. In the states, the trend of grand alliances had set in much earlier, in 1967, when the Congress lost eight out of 16 assembly elections. All seven states in the north and Tamil Nadu in the south experimented with coalition governments and ideologically broad alliances, which may have been fragile, temporary and tenuous but at the same time were much more representative of the voters.
By 1977, Indira Gandhi’s draconian Emergency and the JP movement culminated in the emergence of the Janata Party, a grand alliance of ideologically polar opposites, from the Jan Sangh to the Left Front. Jayaprakash Narayan became the messiah of the anti-Congress Opposition. Based on the 1977 template, Vishwanath Pratap Singh carried out another transient experiment of a grand alliance against the Rajiv Gandhi government in 1989, with the BJP and Left Front as partners. It was followed in 1996 by two other minority United Front governments, led by Deve Gowda and Inder Kumar Gujral in Delhi.
By this time, the rise of regional parties and the ambitions of the state satraps made them too significant in electoral considerations for the national parties to ignore. This laid the foundation for the two major
YOUNG INDIA Rahul Gandhi with Akhilesh Yadav and Jyotiraditya Scindia