Election 2019 – When Friends and Foes Swap Loyalty
Ramanathan Krishnan, INN/Chennai, @infodeaofficial
The election fever is heating up to its ultimate intensity with the first phase of polling is being held across India on March 11. As they say, in politics there are no permanent enemies or friends, this time too, the 2019 Lok Sabha election has seen several friends turning their guns against each other while some traditional foes have started treading along the friendly path.
The once faithful ally of BJP, Telegu Desam party choose to break away from the NDA combine after Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Nadu was reportedly upset over the coldshouldering of Modi towards according special economic status to Andhra after the bifurcation of the state. Naidu now fighting a lone battle against Modi to win maximum Parliamentary seats and majority assembly seats to retain power. The loss is more for Naidu as major developmental projects in his states need central funding and with Naidu walking away from NDA in 2018, he has risked the projects missing their deadlines and over-running of projects costs to several hundred crores.
BSP and SP
Coming together of these traditional regional rival parties in Uttar Pradesh before the Lok Sabha election was the great surprise to everyone as this un-expected (should we call unholy) alliance will make a decent dent on BJP and Congress’ poll chance in the state which sends maximum number of MPs to the Parliament (80). Had Mulayam been in the saddle, he would not have allowed BSP-SP alliance. With new gen SP chief Akilesh Yadav tightening his grip over the party affairs, party veterans and supporters have no option but to fall in line. For Mayawati, it will be a win-win situation as she can hope to win maximum seats for the combine and even try her luck to become the Prime Minister if BJP failed to secure required numbers in the Parliament.
AAP-Congress – suspense continues
The yes-no-yes suspense over alliance of rivals AAP and Congress for Delhi regions still continues as Congress seems to have some issues in seat sharing in Delhi, Haryana and Punjab with AAP. But whatever may be the outcome, this election has forced the grand old party to extend olive leaves to AAP for a possible pre-poll alliance.
The disgruntled veteran BJP leader who was denied ticket this time is now with Congress. He was promptly rewarded with the ticket for Patna Sahib, his home constituency. He will be contesting against the BJP heavy weight and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. Will his celluloid charisma and mass leader appeal make him win the election again? But for Congress the party wants to wrest the seat from BJP. Will the game plan work?
The behind-the-scene bonhomie between the rivals came out in open with the pre-poll tie-up between the ruling Dravidian party with BJP. In the absence of Jayalalithaa, the party has been heading no-where when Modi came in support of EPS-OPS (the two power points of AIADMK) and helped to stabilize the government. With BJP getting a good share of seats, AIADMK has no option but to campaign for BJP candidates who were pitted against its traditional rival DMK in several important constituencies including Coimbatore, Sivaganga, Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and Ramanathapuram where BJP believes that it has sizable votes.
With every election witnessing leaders switching over to opposition camps or parties making friends with foes, the electorates are taken for a ride as they are being put to catch-22 situation to decide whether to vote for individuals or parties?