By Nihal Parashar:
JD(U) has threatened to leave NDA. JD(U)’s senior leaders are in talking terms with TMC and other political parties. Mamta di is also in talking terms with few political parties including BJD for the creation of the Federal Front. In fact if Times of India is to be believed then Mamta di has said, “I spoke to Nitish Kumar. Nitishji is in agreement that it would be good if we come together and form a federal front.”
All of this comes after elevation of Narendra Modi as the face of BJP. No one can deny that JD(U) forms a very important part of NDA. Sharad Yadav, veteran leader of the party, is the convenor of NDA. Nitish is the most popular leader in Bihar and is leading a coalition government with BJP. If JD(U) decides to step out of NDA (which seems a little unrealistic as of now, but then politics is a game of uncertainties! ) then Nitish will require only four more MLA’s to save his government in Bihar. Needless to say, all the independent MLAs will come to him without any invitation.
News reports say that Advani ji called Nitish and discussed the future of the coalition with him earlier today. As a matter of fact BJP cannot afford to lose the support of Nitish and his cadre in Bihar, a state considered very important to rule India. BJP has only around 10 Lok Sabha seats in the state. Polarisation of the votes (if Modi is the PM candidate) will create a wave of upper caste Hindu support for BJP in the state. But then it will cost them dearly as the Dalit, Mahadalit and other minorities will either go with JD(U) or RJD in the state. A wise politician cannot afford this. But the way Modi has been promoted within the party it seems the BJP people are willing to take the risk.
Why Nitish cannot support Modi?
It is not that Nitish hates modi. But the kind of politics Nitish is involved in cannot afford Modi by his side. It will be political suicide for him. Modi can be a great human according to few people, but he has a certain image in the country which alienates a major section of the population from his vote bank; the same vote bank which hails Nitish as one of its leaders.
The Federal or the Third front will pop up because of these complexities of Indian politics. There is a huge possibility that many regional political parties will come together to form a front, just like they did before the last general elections or even before that. India has entered a coalition era and these kinds of occasional possibilities pop up just before a major election. But sadly, they cannot make a government on their own. If they do, it will collapse within a year. Apart from this, many smaller parties of this front will run after Congress or BJP (who ever has more seats) after the results are declared.
This brings us to the larger question: what will be the future of NDA? Should BJP project Modi as its face? Can they afford to lose support from regional parties?
Ah, difficult questions!
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind,
The answer is blowing in the wind.