The BJP had, in the past fifty months after assuming office, gone rough shod over its allies as it comfortable majority on its own in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament.
New Delhi: The fault lines in the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are beginning to get sharper as small and marginal parties gear up to seek a bigger share of the seats allotment in their States. It is a prospect that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not relish as any concession would at its expense.
The BJP had, in the past fifty months after assuming office, gone roughshod over its allies as it comfortable majority on its own in the Lok Sabha, the Lower House of Parliament. The allies had no option, but to bear and grin it.
The reverses in the Hindi heartland States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan has emboldened the allies and sections within the party which were ignored by the party troika of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and finance minister Arun Jaitley.
The change in mood is perceptible.
The NDA seat sharing formula in Bihar has been the first visible demonstration of BJPs willingness to concede ground to allies for the sake of broader understanding. Fallout of it was that the BJP agreed to contest only 17 Lok Sabha seats from the State in the general elections due early next year. The BJP had won 22 of the 40 seats from Bihar in 2014.
Janata Dal (U) of Nitish Kumar, which had won 2 seats, will now contest in 17 and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) the remaining six. Moreover, LJP stalwart Ram Vilas Paswan will be sent to the Rajya Sabha. The willingness to concede ground to allies stems from the realization that Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP), with three members of Parliament in Lok Sabha, walked out of NDA with Upendra Khushwaha resigning from the Cabinet.
Apna Dal, which has two MPs in Lok Sabha, has also struck a discordant note by saying it was being neglected by the BJP leadership. Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party leader Om Prakash Rajbhar, a minister in the UP government , has not been losing an opportunity to have a dig at the BJP and its policies in the State and at the Centre. Shiv Sena and Akali Dal have also been upset at the big brother attitude of the BJP though political compulsions may compel them to remain in the NDA after extracting their pound of flesh.
An interesting sideshow is on within the BJP also.
Road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari has twice in last week obliquely criticised the party leadership for the recent poll debacle in the three Heartland States. The veiled, and at times not so veiled, digs at the party president are a classic example of Indian politics where the top leader is not criticised by the blame is apportioned on the persons close to the leader.
The proposed Ram Mandir at Ayodhya will become another issue to corner the government. The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) has already demanded legislation
to make way for construction of the temple. The Supreme Court will reassemble on January 4 after winter vacation and decide on the bench to hear the title suit on Ayodhya issue.
Shiv Sena has already mocked at the government’s commitment to Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. Coming days will see many more disgruntled groups within the party targeting the Narendra Modi government on the issue.
The great Indian police chess board is seeing many movements, everyone is waiting for a bigger slice. Only after they are sure, they will say, Check & Mate.
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