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National Issues/ Economy/ Politics

Are we heading for national party government?

( Narendra Modi wearing different hats signifying different states of India)

Two very critical constituents of the Indian society are agriculture and the subject of law and order. While more than 70% of the Indian population is some or the other way dependent on agriculture, law and order is something which impacts nearly 100% of the population. Incidentally, both these subjects are exclusivity of the states so far as jurisdiction goes. And, we need a national party government at the center to cater to both these constituents.

If you have been observing how politics is evolving in India, you will notice, since 15 years ago, federal states’ ownership sprung up .. with several regional political parties coming to the fore. Personal charisma of the regional political party leader, increasing local requirements and all prevailing democracy system in India .. all of these factors added more and more political parties on the ballot sheet for the voter to choose from. The voter got confused and eventually as a result several parties’ candidates and independent candidates lost their security deposit. There was no concept of ‘belling the cat’ due to mushrooming of too many political parties .. in the process, national progress took a back-seat, with corruption leading a ‘massive hill of problems’ and mis-governance ruled the day. There was no accountability at all, as coalition government’ leaders started playing the blame-game extensively, suiting to their personal ambitions, opportunities and convenience.

“Atal Bihari Vajpayee was twice premier of India, first from 16 May to 1 June 1996, and then from 19 March 1998 to 22 May 2004. After the 1996 general election, the BJP emerged as the single largest party in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. Vajpayee was invited by President Shankar Dayal Sharma to form a government, but after 13 days in office, proved unable to muster a governing majority and resigned. He was replaced by H. D. Dewe Gowda, leader of the United Front (UF) coalition, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee became the Leader of the Opposition.

The United Front was only able to sustain a majority in Parliament until 1998, resigning after the Rajiv Gandhi led Indian National Congress (INC) withdrew its support. In the Indian general election 1998, the BJP again emerged as the single-largest party, but was able to assemble a governing 13 political parties’ led coalition called the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). Other constituents of the NDA included the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Bahujan Samaj Party, Shiv Sena, Shiromani Akali Dal, National Conference (NC) and the Trinamool Congress (TC), among others.

By early 1999, the NDA government lost its majority after the AIADMK withdrew its support. President K R Narayanan dissolved the Parliament and called fresh elections – the third in two years. Public anger against smaller parties that jeopardized the NDA coalition and the wave of support for the Vajpayee government in the aftermath of the Kargil War gave the BJP a larger presence in the Lok Sabha. The NDA won a decisive majority with the support of new constituents such as the Janata Dal (United) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.” (Source: Wikipedia)

BJP under Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s leadership – had to govern India with the help of 13 coalition political parties!! Naturally, this truth became a handicap since many decisions could not be taken in order to ensure that the coalition government survives and political stability is retained. The basic idea behind narrating ‘the days of premiership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’ is to stress upon the importance of ‘clear mandate’ victory achieved by the present Prime Minister Narendra Modi led Bharatiya Janata Party( BJP) government.

Narendra Modi has taken advantage of this changed political scenario or at the least, he is clearly inclined towards doing so. Quite visibly, the current assembly polls’ results suggest a shift from regional to national parties. Now, the NCP and Shiv Sena can be pushed to the wall in Maharashtra while in Haryana, the BJP has outperformed the Congress, demolished the Haryana Janhit Congress and INLD cannot actually challenge BJP despite having reasonably good numbers, since its leader Mr Omprakash Chautala is disqualified and in prison. Earlier, we saw a similar shift in Karnataka state and it could,possibly, happen in Jammu and Kashmir and Tamil Nadu too. That, of course, depends on how successful the BJP’s Mission 44 is in the former state and how debilitated the AIADMK and DMK are in the latter.

We need to wait and see what happens in the states of Tamil Nadu, Jharkand and Assam in a year and half from now, when they go for state Assembly polls. Will BJP win a thumping majority even there? We do not know! But, the possibility of a national party government, with simple majority, is no longer hard to conceive of.


About Raman Ramamurthy

I am a Management consultant, an avid reader, play Lawn tennis in my leisure time and love Music. Presently, I am settled in India along with my wife and my son.


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