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It’s all part of the power game

"In 2004, looking at the inevitability of a coalition to form a government and be in power, Indian National Congress engineered UPA taking with it the parties formed by rebel congress members like NCP and the left parties against whom congress fought the election. Involving left parties to rule over the country itself was a clean betrayal by INC to the public mandate."

Basudev Mahapatra : May 11, 2009

World’s largest democracy India has been witnessing post election coalition of parties against people’s mandate. It is since 1989 general polls under the leadership of Janmorcha supreme VP Singh through 1999 elections when BJP led the NDA government under the leadership of Atal Vihari Bajpayee and again Congress leader Manmohan Singh’s UPA government in the year 2004, that coalitions are formed after the elections taking parties of varying, sometimes completely repulsive, ideologies.

In 1989, when VP Singh left Indian National Congress and formed his Janmorcha, the issue was corruption and huge Bofors scam. These issues combined with anti-incumbency pulled congress party out of power and, just to capture power, a new coalition was formed. As the non-congress parties together surpassed the number obtained by Congress party, Janmorcha, Janata Dal, Lok Dal and few others along with BJP clubbed together and formed the government. The parties had their own agenda before public. VP Singh and his people got elected on the issue of Bofors where as BJP had its promise of lifting article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. None could fulfil their promises. So VP Singh played his caste division politics by opening Mandal Commission report and BJP played its own game of Ram Mandir. In both the cases, hundreds of youth and common people died of either self immolation or police firing. On the issue of Ram Mandir, BJP withdrew its support from VP Singh government and the coalition that got peoples’ mandate to offer a non-congress government had to run the government with the support of Congress.

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In 1999, BJP became the party with largest number of MPs on the issue of Ram Mandir and also article 370 that gives Jammu and Kashmir a special status. But it was the attraction of power only that motivated BJP to for an alliance with TDP, JD-U, AIADMK, Trinamul Congress and even National Conference which vehemently opposes any attempt to lift article 370. All other parties except Shiv Sena were against BJP’s Hindu political card and the promises it made during the election. Instead of the electoral issues, the primary motivation was formation of a non-congress government to rule for a full term which had never happened in India. Even though NDA government became the only non-congress government till date that completed a full term rule in the country, the issues played during the election were overshadowed by the desire to rule the nation for at least five years.

Again in 2004, looking at the inevitability of a coalition to form a government and be in power, Indian National Congress engineered UPA taking with it the parties formed by rebel congress members like NCP and the left parties against whom congress fought the election. Involving left parties to rule over the country itself was a clean betrayal by INC to the public mandate.

In a major development before the results of 2009 elections, CPM leader Prakash Karat and Leader of Biju Janata Dal Naveen Pattnaik met in Bhubaneswar to decide the future course of action of the third front is yet another attempt by the left parties against the mandate of people even though it makes a great sense for political analysts and the two major coalitions like NDA and UPA.

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While speaking to press members after the meeting, Prakash Karat told that the third front is going to form a non-congress, non-BJP secular government at the centre and he sought the complete involvement of Naveen Pattnaik in the formation of the secular alternative government at the centre. He also appealed the regional and national parties, other than BJP and INC, to join the third front to make way for an alternative secular government.

On the other hand, Indian National Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party are busy highlighting the incidents of parties departing from either NDA or UPA and are also spreading speculative remarks on possibilities of new parties joining their respective camps. Rahul’s remark on possibility of Nitish Kumar joining UPA started a war of dialogues from both NDA and UPA camp forcing Laloo and Paswan skip the cabinet meeting.

Both the coalition brands NDA and UPA have kept their doors open for parties to come in. Since no particular party or coalition is going to get a clear majority, it seems that regional parties are going be in a bargaining position.

Be it the new associations and dissociations or even the appeals, all these seem to be a part of the power game. Coalitions should be made on the basis of common issues and ideological similarity. But in India, ironically, alternative coalitions are being designed to fulfil the selfish interests of the parties and leaders instead of the issues that largely affect people and the national interests.

 

 

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