Ma­jor par­ties find it hard to get al­lies

Deccan Chronicle - - Edit -

At the BJP na­tional coun­cil meet­ing in New Delhi last week­end, key lead­ers of the rul­ing party con­tin­ued to take aim at the “Ma­ha­gath­band­han”, or the grand al­liance of the “sec­u­lar” par­ties, for seek­ing to chal­lenge the saf­fron “dic­ta­tor­ship”, the de­scrip­tion of the BJP gov­ern­ment put for­ward by the Con­gress Party. In­ter­est­ingly, vit­ri­olic speeches at the BJP fo­rum were made against the very idea of Op­po­si­tion par­ties com­bin­ing even as lead­ers of Ut­tar Pradesh’s top re­gional par­ties, Mayawati and Akhilesh Ya­dav, were an­nounc­ing that they had joined hands to de­feat the BJP, but kept the Con­gress out of their al­liance.

The plain truth is that there doesn’t ap­pear to be any “Ma­ha­gath­band­han” in the off­ing to take on the gov­ern­ment. The Con­gress-led UPA of an ear­lier era has sim­ply failed to take off as a se­ri­ous all-en­com­pass­ing plat­form of anti-BJP forces.

Ex­cept in Ma­ha­rash­tra and Bi­har, where the Con­gress pro­poses to come to­gether with re­gional par­ties (NCP and RJD re­spec­tively) for the Lok Sabha polls, there is no sign yet of any other pub­li­cised al­liance on the “sec­u­lar” side. An al­liance in Kar­nataka be­tween the Con­gress and JD(S) is within the bounds of fea­si­bil­ity, but there’s no for­mal word yet from ei­ther party.

The same story holds good on the BJP’s side. The NDA, as an idea, seems to have slid into the past. Back in 2014, the BJP is said to have dis­played the sound sense to band to­gether with sev­eral anti-Con­gress par­ties. Its move was then con­trasted with that of the Con­gress, which was be­com­ing known as a party that can’t keep al­lies. Such a sweep­ing for­mu­la­tion no longer ap­pears to be in con­so­nance with the ground re­al­ity. Ex­cept for the Akali Dal in Pun­jab, a small state in the over­all scheme of things, the BJP doesn’t have any firm al­lies in the bag as of now. If there are too many lead­ers on the “sec­u­lar” side nurs­ing the am­bi­tion to be­come Prime Min­is­ter, on the BJP side the weight­ier anti-Con­gress par­ties no longer seek ac­com­mo­da­tion in a BJP-led elec­toral front be­fore the Lok Sabha polls. The Tel­ugu De­sam has turned anti-BJP, al­though it is not yet clear if it will en­ter into a for­mal al­liance with the Con­gress.

In the main, the like­li­est sce­nario is that of re­gional par­ties link­ing up with the Con­gress or the BJP only in a post-poll al­liance, with the larger of these two stand­ing a bet­ter chance of at­tract­ing al­lies to form the gov­ern­ment. Thus, the Con­gress ver­sus BJP jostling will con­tinue.

The plain truth is that there doesn’t ap­pear to be any ‘Ma­ha­gath­band­han’ in the off­ing to take on the gov­ern­ment. The Con­gress-led UPA of an ear­lier era has sim­ply failed to take off.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.