BJP’S Pen­sion­ers Leave NDA in a Mess

As the pres­i­den­tial race ex­poses its frail­ties, the al­liance now re­sem­bles a rail­way plat­form, says

Tehelka - - PRESIDENTIAL RACE - ASHOK MA­LIK

WHEN THE count­down to the pres­i­den­tial race be­gan, the BJP hoped for a di­vi­sion in the UPA ranks and a sit­u­a­tion where the Congress and the govern­ment would end up be­ing weaker af­ter the bat­tle for Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van. In a sense, it turned out as hoped. The Tri­namool Congress’ re­la­tion­ship with the Congress has wors­ened con­sid­er­ably. That apart, the de­par­ture of Pranab Mukher­jee will leave the UPA govern­ment with­out its prin­ci­pal trou­ble-shooter.

Nev­er­the­less, snatch­ing de­feat from the jaws of smug sat­is­fac­tion, the BJP has con­verted the elec­tion into an all-pur­pose fi­asco. The NDA is now di­vided; the big­gest nonBJP party is threat­en­ing to walk out. Two al­lies, the JD( U) in Bi­har and the Shiv Sena in Ma­ha­rash­tra, have an­nounced their sup­port for Pranab.

The BJP it­self has lurched from one can­di­date to the next, playing sec­ond fid­dle to Ma­mata when it came to APJ Ab­dul Kalam and to Jay­alalithaa and Naveen Pat­naik

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