Amid ally trouble, BJP says it is getting new ones ahead of 2019 polls
The BJP has been facing discontent and desertion from its allies after the drubbing in the recently-concluded assembly elections in five states.
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief Upendra Kushwaha recently parted ways with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance and joined the mahagathbandhan or grand alliance in Bihar of the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and other parties. Kushwaha quit the NDA on December 10, following differences with the BJP over seat sharing in the state for the Lok Sabha election to be held next year.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, has plans ahead of the general election.
“We have completed seat-sharing arrangements with allies in Bihar only last week and we will certainly ... Alliance politics is all about accommodation and adjustments. It is true smaller parties like RLSP in Bihar have left us,” senior BJP leader Ram Madhav said on Wednesday.
“But we are also getting new allies in south India and eastern India. It is something that happens before elections and it is nothing new,” the party’s general secretary said.
His comments have also come after the BJP’s partners in the NDA Apna Dal (Sonelal) and the Om Prakash Rajbhar-led Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) stepped up the pressure on the party. Both parties have alleged that the BJP leadership wasn’t giving due respect and due share to its allies. Apna Dal in Uttar Pradesh has two MPs, one of whom is Anupriya Patel, who is union minister of state for health.
And, last week top leaders of the BJP and Ram Vilas Paswan-led Lok Janashakti Party (LJP) held a meeting to iron out differences that triggered speculation about the fate of NDA in the heartland state. The NDA constituent, which had served an ultimatum to the BJP to finalise seat sharing agreement in Bihar by December 31, was pacified with one seat in the Lok Sabha and one in the Rajya Sabha.
The BJP has been riled with ally problem throughout the year. Earlier in March, Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had ended its four-year-old alliance with the NDA over the Centre’s refusal to grant special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
Madhav, however, did not say which party they are tapping as a potential new ally.
(With agency inputs)