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Till power shift do them part

Power brought them together and power drove them apart. History shows that power-sharing arrangements in politics are never a good idea.
Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, Jammu And Kashmir
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2007 11:21 PM IST

The arrangement: After the National Conference lost power in the October 2002 elections and no single party had a clear majority, the Congress and PDP formed an alliance with the help of smaller parties. The deal was to share power for three years each.

The Congress took over the reins from the PDP in November 2005.

Problem areas: Besides differences over troop cut and self-rule, the allies have been squabbling over portfolio allocation and corruption charges. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad went against the PDP advice’s and allotted the finance and planning portfolios to PDP leader M.H. Baig. The PDP took it as an insult and charged Azad with trying to break the PDP. It also questioned the allotment of a hall in a Jammu mall to the CM’s brother.

The breakdown: The coalition survives, though barely, largely due to the efforts of the Congress high command.

Uttar Pradesh

Three times not a charm: The BJP and BSP joined hands thrice to form government, with disastrous results. While in 1995, the BJP gave outside support to the BSP just to break up the BSP-SP and then promptly deserted it, in 2000, the BJP’s demand for an alliance for the 2004 Lok Sabha poll proved to be the government’s undoing. Only once, in 1997, did the two agree to share power. The result was no different.

The arrangement: The BSP and BJP entered into an alliance in March 1997 with the chief ministership on rotation for six months. Mayawati was given the first six months.

Problem areas: Kalyan Singh, who was to take over from the BSP chief, was against the tie-up.

The breakdown: Mayawati completed six month in October but instead of handing over the reins to Singh, withdrew support. This led to large-scale horse-trading and a large number of MLAs formed a new party to join Singh’s government.

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