Monday, April 6, 2009

NDA vs UPA viz a viz Congress vs BJP

This election is most strange one. If you allow me, I would call it the quantum era of politics. There are no clear lines drawn between any two or three sides. You don't know who are your friends and who are your enemies and above all, effects of your actions may be very contrary to intuition and common sense.

It is a thrilling exercise to see the political situation evolve pre and post elections in India and even more so this time. The coalitions stitched together them selves are the first battle ground for various forces clamoring for influence in national politics. The force that binds these alliances is so loose that they virtually do not exist. UPA is a fit case to illustrate this theory. Its no secret that Mr. Pawar and Lalu, Paswan and Mulayam will happily shift to the third front if and when ever they get a chance. Such a chance will be bestowed only by the poor performance of Congress ("Their ally") and good performance of Third front and their respective parties. Congress very well understands this logic and hence is in no mood to relent in seat sharing talks with these parties. On the other hand things are smoother with Trinamol Congress and DMK. Well the logic is simple Mamata will need Congress in Bengal state elections and hence wont be able to play tricks after the election, also the only option other than congress present to trinamol is BJP (with no presence in state) which will hurt its vote base in liberal Bengal. The reason for fraternity between congress and DMK is the dependence of DMK on congress to be in power in State.

So now lets look at how has alliances at present worked for Congress. It seems congress has played well in most of the cases. The only thing that went bad was rupturing of alliance in Tamil Nadu which may hurt the party and the allaince in generall. In bengal Trinamol can be considered as an inseparable part of the congress alliance as it has no where to go at least until the state elections and even later if the party is not myopic. The alliance troubles in UP and Bihar are more for SP, RJD and LJP which are the dominant players. The congress on the other hand could have done marginally well in these states in alliance with these parties but it is these parties that stand to loose more and hence the UPA looses but congress may win by strengthening its moribund organisation in these crucial states. These developments also mark a end of Mandal politics which lead to the down turn of Congress and appearing of these parties on the regional scene. With their decline it seems that voters have shunned caste issues if not wholly but partly. This stance of congress seems very optimal since any strengthening of UPA at cost of congress or UPA where the allies are stronger will be harmful to congress as 1. Allies may switch to third front or demand important ministries in centre. 2. This will lead to down ward fall of congress similar to its decay in UP and Bihar with "allies" getting more and more dominant and asking for more and more influence and seats. Well the second reason also includes it alliance with trinamol in west bengal which has been seen as a sell out. But the shape of the alliance in state election will depend on the ground situation then and also the shape of the Central Government and utility of Trinamol.

Things are not very different for BJP and NDA as well. The same logic explained above lead to the hard bargaining of seats with BJD and the eventual break off. The seat sharing went ahead with JD(U) as the Bihar government rests on BJP support. But BJP without allies in South does'nt not bode well for the party as it has no base in the 3 Dravidian states and no goodwill (that congress enjoys in UP and Bihar). Thus it will see the allies driving a hard bargain.

1 comment:

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