Millennium Post

BJP, it seems has lost ground

Ours is the largest democracy in the world, unique in many respects as it has no scope of interference by external forces, and has many checks and balances. It has grown gradually to shift from a single party dominance at the centre and in states to multi-party governance including crumbling coalitions during late sixties and later into matured coalition governments in states like West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura, Punjab, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Orissa followed by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), United Progressive Alliance-I (UPA) and UPA-II governments at the centre. With longevity of the coalition governments at the centre one may feel assured that the country would not witness chaos-like-situation in case none of the parties get majority in Lok Sabha elections as the country has been ruled by combinations of different parties, whatever may be the compulsions?
The country had to face untimely elections after the fall of coalition governments due to the withdrawal of support by one or the other constituent party in well knit coalitions. One may lose count while referring to the coalition governments that crumbled under strains among the partners and the weight of contradictions in approach of the parties. It is not difficult to count the incidents of breakup of longer lasting coalitions efficiently delivering and returning to power in one after the other elections in the states. Probably there have been two such incidents when the major party in the coalition dared to divorce it and later succeeded in surviving the break up. The affected coalition governments in the two states were combination of only two constituent parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), being thrown out by the major constituent party in both the cases. In other words the major constituent of the NDA-BJP had to face an assault on the two occasions.

The latest political divorce is from Bihar where a 17-year-old smooth coalition took its last breath in the backdrop of the recent developments in BJP at national level. JD(U)-BJP coalition has been rocked because of Narendra Modi being nominated as the chairman of BJP election campaign committee.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had been allergic to Modi right from the beginning due to his dubious role in Gujarat riots. The elevation of Modi added fuel to fire which resulted in the final break up. Nitish has always been concerned of his minority support and feared a drastic erosion in minority vote bank by teaming up with Modi.

Nitish was keen to have a firm assurance from the BJP that the name of NDA’s PM contender would be declared immediately. The strange reaction of so called BJP iron man Advani also made Nitish to forcefully deploy his warheads against BJP. Nitish used to publically avoid Modi, hence, making his stand crystal clear against so called fascism of Modi. Nitish took a lapse in declaring the final assault against coalition as he thought of giving BJP time to reconsider as it was supposed to knock at the door of its mother organisation before reversing any decision. The elevation of Modi and withdrawal of resignations from the party posts by Advani were at the behest of the RSS. The saffron party is amused to see the surge in popularity of Modi and has been dreaming of winning as many seats possible to attract post-poll partners with a keen interest to share power. The BJP is banking on the consolidating popularity of Modi in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. Nitish has finally apprised the governor about his decision and recommended removal of 11 BJP Ministers from his council of Ministers. Further he has offered to prove his majority in the Legislative Assembly as he claims to have the numbers. In any case his government is going to survive, though the BJP is at loss now. It is difficult to believe that the BJP would face similar drubbing in the ensuing elections as it suffered in Odisha after being thrown out of BID-BJP coalition by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. The BJP suffered in Odisha since it was enjoying a piggy ride whereas in Bihar it has deep roots. Any how the post Modi elevation episode has not only kindled hopes of revival for the third front but has given enough ground to the RJD and Congress to brighten their hopes over a collapsed coalition.

The earlier break up of an eleven year old coalition took place in Odisha on 7th March 2009 due to cropping up of differences between the two partners BJD and BJP over seats sharing of Lok Sabha and Assembly seats. The BJP tried to plead before Naveen Patnaik which went in vain as the CM was disturbed with the idea of turning the state into an experimental laboratory of Hinduism by the saffron party. At the same time he was being guided by a strategist Pyari Mohan Mohapatra who later revolted against the CM. Subsequently upon the breakup of this coalition, the major party could survive its government and the BJP got decimated in the ensuing elections. Its share in the Lok Sabha seats became zero and in the Assembly seats reduced from 36 to just six. The BJP, it seems, would not be able to gain its lost ground in time to come.

The author is a communication consultant
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