Friday, March 20, 2009

National Parties; What National Parties?

The kind permutation and combination that the political parties are doing this election season can give the top mathematician a run for their money. Parties are looking to get the maximum share of seats even disappointing their allies to a certain extent. The two national parties BJP and the Congress suddenly seem yo have no control over their allies and it is the regional parties who are calling the shots.

If BJD ditched the BJP at the last moment in Orissa it was the turn of RJD and the LJP to do the same to Congress in Bihar. In West Bengal Sonia Gandhi had to bow down before Mamata Banerjee's demands. NCP is troubling Congress by demanding the post of the Prime Minister for Sharad Pawar even before the EVM's have buzzed.

The Congress and the BJP have been left to biting their nails in most of the states where they have alliances with the regional parties. The situation is slightly better for the BJP as it has got less regional allies with parties like the TDP, National Conference, TMC, LJP and the AIADMK not a part of the coalition anymore. On the other hand Congress has too many heads to please while allotting its seats.

Now for the BJP and the Congress a lot will depend on the states where it fights the polls on its own. These are the very places where both the parties will have to cash on if any of them want to stake a claim to forming the next government at the centre. Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh will prove to be crucial if the Congress or the BJP wants to see itself forming a government at the centre.

For people like Lalu Prasad and Mamata Banerjee the logic is very simple, these pre-poll alliance may become meaningless after the results are declared and with more seats in their own kitty they can dictate terms in the next coalition government. Also the emergence of the Third Front has made sure that the fight this time will be tripartite. For the BJP and the Congress this election will be more about holding their ground as national parties.


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