BJP should not shut the door on potential allies

  • Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 03, 2014 12:02 IST

It is commonly known that the smaller a party is, the more personality-centric it is likely to get. But the problem arises when such parties form alliances with national parties and those alliances are scuppered over ego clashes, which is what has happened in the case of the Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) and the BJP.

Even in the first flush of victory, the BJP should reckon on the future and its need for allies when the going gets tough.

The alliance had begun to turn acrimonious after the Lok Sabha elections, when the HJC did not perform as well as it was expected to do. Now it has teamed up with another local outfit, the Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP).

This has left both the BJP and the ruling Congress without an ally in the state.

Sensing power, partly because of its good performance in the Lok Sabha polls and also because the 10 years of Congress rule in Haryana have caused a fair measure of anti-incumbency, the BJP is wooing leaders from various parties, including the Indian National Lok Dal, its erstwhile ally.

With many big and small parties throwing their hat in the ring, the possibility of horse-trading after the elections in October has gone up.

The split has given the BJP some reason for anxiety. Asking a Jat leader here or a Balmiki activist there to join the party is not a good idea because the BJP may not be able to accommodate every request that may arise out of an understanding of convenience.

Some alliances have indeed survived, such as the ones between the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the BJP and the Shiv Sena, though the Congress-NCP tie-up has been a relatively stormy one.

To lend some sense to political coalitions, a suggestion has been offered in several quarters.

The Rajiv Gandhi government had done the nation an immense service by bringing in the Anti-Defection Act, under the terms of which a legislator will have to give up her or his seat in an assembly or Parliament if she or he chooses to leave the party on whose symbol she or he contested.

Similarly there can be legislation by which a party should be made legally bound to give up seats in case it decides to walk out of an alliance. If introduced, this can be a stabilising factor in our polity, in which division rather than unity seems to be the rule.

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