Chances of anti-BJP alliance appear bleak as cracks emerge in regional parties
The BJP’s resounding victory in the recently held Uttar Pradesh assembly polls doesn’t seem to have galvanised opposition parties into unified action. On the contrary, it may just have sent them further down an off-tangential path to self-destruction.india Updated: Apr 06, 2017 12:58 IST
Delhi is likely to see the mother of all electoral battles later this month.
At a time when regional parties are mulling over forming a “grand alliance” against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 general elections, the unification strategy doesn’t seem to be working very well on the ground. In the upcoming Delhi civic polls, for instance, it has become clear that candidates of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Janata Dal-United (JDU), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) are set to cut into the “secular vote bank” – hurting the prospects of the Congress more than that of the BJP or the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
However, the Congress camp claims that the multiplicity of parties in the municipal polls is actually a positive development. “Parties such as the SP, JDU and RJD will cut into the BJP vote bank among the Purvanchalis (people of Bihar and East-UP origin),” a senior party leader said.
Even so, the moot question remains: Is it possible for regional parties – with or without the Congress – to form a grand alliance capable of taking on the Modi wave?
The BJP’s resounding victory in the recently held Uttar Pradesh assembly polls doesn’t seem to have galvanised opposition parties into unified action. On the contrary, it may just have sent them further down an off-tangential path to self-destruction.
In the SP, daggers are drawn against party chief Akhilesh Yadav, with his uncle Shivpal and sister-in-law Aparna – supported by father Mulayam Singh Yadav – already making their intentions clear. Things don’t seem much better in the BSP, with party chief Mayawati’s grip over the party leadership slackening considerably. In a gathering planned on April 14, the birth anniversary of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar, prominent party leaders such as Kamala Kant Gautam and Gangaram Ambedkar intend to float a new Dalit outfit called ‘Mission Suraksha Parishad’ to better serve the ideals of BSP founder Kanshi Ram.
The alliance government in Bihar seems to be cracking too, with several prominent RJD leaders – including former Union minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh – lashing out at JDU leader Nitish Kumar for “helping the BJP cause in Uttar Pradesh”.
However, efforts are also on to unite the various factions of the erstwhile Janata Dal (the JDU, JDS, INLD, SJP and BJP, among others) with breakaway groups of the Congress (the NCP, YSR Congress and Trinamool Congress). The task seems uphill, at least for now.