BJP Should Desist From Opportunistic Alliances - The New Indian Express

BJP Should Desist From Opportunistic Alliances

Published: 08th March 2014 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 08th March 2014 01:51 AM

With its eye on the prime minister’s chair for Narendra Modi, yet not certain of a majority of its own, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has set about forging and looking for alliances, state by state, in its quest for majority in Parliament. It has forged a five-party alliance, Mahayuti, with the Shiv Sena, the RPI, the Swabhimani Paksha and the Rashtriya Samaj Paksha in Maharashtra and is trying to convince Raj Thackeray not to field MNS candidates. In Bihar, it has entered into an electoral alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party and Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP.

While the party had decided to go it alone in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh and doesn’t need crutches in the central states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, it is exploring possibilities of electoral tie-up with smaller parties in Odisha and Assam. South of the Vindhyas, it has already got B S Yedyyurappa’s KJP back in its fold in Karnataka and is eyeing B Sriramulu’s BSR. In Andhra Pradesh it has held exploratory talks with TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu and sees a window of opportunity following TSR’s refusal to merge with the Congress in Telangana. In Tamil Nadu, the party is talking to DMDK of matinee idol-turned politician Vijaykanth, PMK of Ramadoss and MDMK of Vaiko.

While pre-electoral alliances may be necessary for the party in regions where it doesn’t have significant political presence, a desperate search for allies and unprincipled alliances that are against the core ideology and policies of the BJP does confront the party with some uncomfortable questions. Caste and community alliances merely to bolster its vote bank reflects a lack of confidence in winning an election under Modi’s leadership despite evidence of his increasing popularity. It has already divided the party in Bihar and could lead to demoralisation of the party’s committed rank and file in other parts of India. If the BJP wants to form a government at the Centre after elections, it should first ensure the maximum seats in Lok Sabha on its own and then look for big regional parties.

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