Alliance government for sometimes back has been the real and inevitable form of government in the Indian democratic society. With the emergence of strong regional political parties, national parties could no longer kept momentum as was during Nehru or Indira era, and gradually have been dependent on the regional parties to form the government at the Centre.
Gone are the days when magic of leaders’ face or speech garnered votes, particularly at a time when a large number of population were astonished with the India’s oldest political party. Still a group of people cast vote to its most trusted party, no matter how a regional party is strong or in government or likely to form the government; even regardless of regional issues which influence them the most.
Situation, however, has been changed in due course of time with spread of education—which empowers people to reason, economic independency, and awareness among masses who have now been capable of questioning their leaders, answerable to them.
More and more people have become educated or even less educated or literally uneducated people have developed qualitative analytical ability to judge their leaders—who either plays only dirty politics or who takes politics as a social work to serve people better.
This, in fact, is entirely not true as fear, intimidation, casteism, religion, money, wine, etc., which are quite prevalent these days despite being declared prohibited by the Election Commission according to Constitution of India, still play a bigger role to fetch sizable chunk of votes.
Putting aside negative shades of politics for a while, this time 71.4 crore voters will exercise their right of franchise for the 15th Lok Sabha elections to be held in five phases from April 16 to May 13, 2009 out of which 4.3 crore new electorates will cast their votes for the first time, which we should expect to be educated youngsters aware of the value of even single vote.
As already said, alliance government is a non-disputable reality in the present scenario, smaller parties have kept the two bigger national parties — Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA — on their toes with desisting older and forming newer. Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party admitted they needed allies to win as no single party can form a government in the ongoing scenario.
Politics in India is unpredictable. Here no one is enemy forever. The disintegration of an old alliance and formation of a new alliance is a unique characteristic of politics in India that occurs particularly ahead of an election. This is something what happening today with UPA (United Progressive Alliance) and NDA (National Democratic Alliance). The two bigger alliances have now restricted to an alliance of few parties. The existing allies while, on the one hand, promising to maintain their alliances—UPA and NDA—on the other hand, are in search of new alliances.
Despite seeking to fight elections under the banner of UPA by some allies, Congress had spelt out that it would not fray polls as UPA, but will fight as a Congress party and alliance with different regional parties will vary from state to state depending on firm base and supremacy of the concerned regional parties.
Congress, facing trouble to keep intact its potential allies, anyhow could continue ally with Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party, seeking bigger pound of flesh from the Congress this time as against the previous 27-21 seat sharing formula, in Maharashtra, it lost PMK (Pattali Makkal Katchi) which could be a big blow to it in Tamil Nadu where poll equation is developing gradually in favour of opposition AIADMK.
In Bihar, after felt cheated at the hands of its allies RJD and LJP which left only 3 out of 40 seats for Congress, and disagreement over seat-sharing with Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh, Congress has decided to contest elections single-handedly in these two states.
On the other hand, RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad and LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan have joined hands with Mulayam Singh Yadav of Samajwadi Party to form what it termed a ‘secular alliance’. However, Lalu has said the front is not against UPA rather a move to strengthen the secular block and defeat the NDA. If this ‘secular alliance’ persists for long, there is no denying the fact this alliance could be formidable for UPA in due course of time.
If the Congress has its share of trouble with potential allies, the BJP has found it difficult too to keep the NDA flock together. Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal has left BJP’s 10-year-old friendship in Orissa. Even there is no guarantee Nitish Kumar in Bihar or Naidu in AP will stay with it as they feel the BJP will spell trouble for them because of the Muslim vote could get alienated. Nitish Kumar has openly criticized Varun Gandhi, backed by BJP, for his alleged communal remarks. Today, BJP has restricted to more or less six allies.
The Third Front, which is the outcome of some like-minded parties to create the much-vaunted “non-Congress, non-BJP” alternative, is another group of alliance that could change the post-election scenario in Delhi.
India which has not had a single-party government since 1996 again has no chance in 2009 or in the distant future. So in the game of politics time will speak who forms the next government, but one thing is indisputably apparent that the next government at the Centre again will be an alliance government.