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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » An anti-BJP political formula is brewing in Delhi

An anti-BJP political formula is brewing in Delhi

By Renu Mittal
November 07, 2014 01:37 IST
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With the Congress down in the dumps and the BJP juggernaut on a roll, ‘secular’ parties are attempting to revive the Janata Parivar coalition to fill the vacuum. contributor Renu Mittal reports

The devastating defeat of the Congress and the virtual comatose state in which the grand old party finds itself has led to concerns over who could occupy the secular space and take on the Bharatiya Janata Party as it strides ahead winning election after election.

A small beginning was made on Thursday afternoon over lunch when the erstwhile Janata Parivar came together at Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav’s residence in New Delhi.

Present at the meeting were Janata Dal-United leaders Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav, Janata Dal-Secular leader Deve Gowda, Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad Yadav and the Haryana Lok Dal leader Abhay Chautala.

While the goal is to work out floor unity in Parliament and join hands to take on the BJP, Nitish said that the leaders may in the future decided to come together and reunite the Janata Parivar and form one party.

He said that if that happens, they may be able to fill the space vacated by the Congress in the national political scene.

A perception has grown that under Rahul Gandhi the Congress is not strong enough to take on the Narendra Modi juggernaut and that it would be better for the Muslims, whose vote is being fragmented amongst various regional players, to find an alternative formation which can address their concerns.

The Left parties, which have been brain storming to find ways to counter the BJP, have welcomed the initial initiative launched by Nitish, Mulayam and Lalu.

The Left parties were not invited for the meeting, which is unusual. However, it now looks as though including the Left may be the second stage of progress once the Janata Parivar comes together.

A deeper analysis of the election results has shown that the BJP won because the anti-BJP votes were getting fragmented and going to many parties.

The Modi-Amit Shah team has cleverly worked to create divisions with a large number of parties contesting against the BJP. It happened in Maharashtra, Haryana and now in Jharkhand.

In Jharkhand, the Congress, RJD, JD-U and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha were to contest together to ensure that the votes were not divided. However, JMM has pulled out at the last minute from the alliance and decided to contest alone.

Within the Congress, state units and senior leaders have begun to pull in different directions as more and more voices are now coming out in the open against Rahul’s leadership.

The first state unit to split was Tamil Nadu. A day after Karti Chidambaram criticized the Congress leadership, a delegation of senior leaders from Tamil Nadu met party chief Sonia Gandhi on Thursday evening to discuss the situation in the Congress, particularly Tamil Nadu.

It is being felt that Sonia, who is now delegating more and more decision-making powers to Rahul, would need to revaluate his leadership before it is too late.

It is felt that it may be difficult to revive the Congress if the party splits in other states and a free-for-all situation arises.

Image: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav (L) with Janata Dal-Secular supremo HD Deve Gowda, Janata Dal-United president Sharad Yadav, Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar, Janata Dal United leader and former Bihar chief minister, during a luncheon meeting in New Delhi on Thursday.

Photograph: Kamal Kishore / PTI Photo

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