Unholy Alliances Not New to India’s Political Landscape

Unholy Alliances Not New to India’s Political Landscape
Unholy Alliances Not New to India’s Political Landscape

Surprised at Shiv Sena seeking the support of Congress? Well, there are instances when BJP and Cong have come together.

They called each other names during electioneering, but the lust for power has brought the firebrand Hindutva party, the Shiv Sena, and the Congress, who holds Sena’s poster boy Veer Sarvakar a coward, close to the hand-shaking distance for a possible alliance. But such strange and unholy alliances are not new in India. Here is a look at such alliances:

Shiv Sena’s chief Balasaheb Thackeray had once called the Congress a bunch or eunuchs ready to prostrate before Sonia Gandhi. Today, the Sena is seeking the support that very party of eunuchs.

The Sena had termed Sharad Pawar’s NCP as a party that plays gutter politics. Or, is it the other way around? But today the Sena is desperate to seek NCP’s hands in a political alliance.

All this may sound strange and stunning. But thee most unusual alliance is the one where the BJP and the Congress came together in Mizoram’s Chakma Autonomous District Council.

Elections to the 20-member council was held in 2018. The Mizo National Front, a constituent of the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), emerged as the single-largest party with eight members. The Congress got seven and the BJP five.

Post elections, the Congress and the BJP formed an alliance called United Legislature Party. So, one may say what is wrong in Maharashtra?

JAMMU AND KASHMIR

Another surprise alliance was when the BJP tied up with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The two parties are known to espouse diametrically opposite ideologies – like the Sena and Congress.

WHEN CONGRESS SPRANG A SURPRISE

The Congress is not behind in forming unholy alliances. In 2013, the Congress got battered in the Delhi Assembly election with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founded by RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal leading a frontal campaign against the grand-old-party.

In the elections, the BJP emerged as the single-largest party while the AAP came second. The Congress had been ousted and it’s Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit defeated by Arvind Kejriwal. The badly bruised Congress, however, licked its wounds and extended outside support to the AAP for government formation after the BJP decided not to stake a claim.

Later, in 2018, the Congress sprang a surprise supporting the Janata Dal (Secular) party in Karnataka, where the BJP emerged as the single-largest party but fell short of majority. Like in Maharashtra, the Congress and the JDS had called each other names. Yet, the Congress announced unconditional support to the JDS, which was third in the tally in Karnataka Assembly.

YET ANOTHER INSTANCE

In Uttar Pradesh, the BJP formed an alliance with bitter enemy and critic Mayawati of the BSP under different circumstances. In 1995, Mayawati snapped ties with Mulayam Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party. The SP-BSP government collapsed, and Mayawati took oath with outside support from the BJP and the Janata Dal.

The BSP and the BJP are parties with contrasting ideologies – again like the Shiv Sena and the Congress.

In Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP tied up with the Congress for assembly elections. The TDP was formed by Naidu’s father-in-law NT Rama Rao on an anti-Congress plank. Naidu had called Sonia Gandhi names, but when it came to taking a shot at power, he went unashamedly to the Congress chief.

Unholy and surprise alliances have become part of India’s political landscape. Enemies become friends and friends become enemies – all for power.

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