BSP Chief Mayawati has become a thorn for opposition parties, who are all set to form Mahagatbandhan to defeat Narendra Modi in next Lok Sabha elections. BSP Chief Mayawati has fired the first salvo by deciding to ally with former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi, who, after leaving Congress, has formed his own party. BSP, which polled 4.27 per cent of the valid votes in 2013, would have ensured a Congress victory in the last Assembly polls, had the grand old party allied with the Dalit outfit.
Chhattisgarh and BSP
Congress fell short of BJP’s 41.04 per cent vote share by a meagre 0.75 percentage points in 2013 assembly polls. Historically, in the Naxal-affected state, the difference of vote share between the BJP & the Congress has always been low – 1.7 percentage point in 2008 & 2.55 percentage points in 2003. If Congress have had allied with BSP it would have gone past the finishing line in both 2008 & 2003 with a combined vote share as BSP polled 6.11 per cent votes & 4.45 per cent in those two elections.
Mayawati a bargainer
BSP also announced that it intends to fight in all the 230 seats in Madhya Pradesh. The Dalit leader’s move might be seen as applying pressure on the Congress to cede to its demand of parting with more seats outside its home turf of Uttar Pradesh. Nevertheless, given BSP’s track record of allying with BJP in the past, the Mayavati-led party must reconsider its decision so as not to jeopardise the dream of a united opposition against the might of the Modi-Shah duo. Kanshi Ram’s protege’s move has literally put question mark on the fate of Mahagatbandhan.
Mahagatbandhan a flop show?
Regional parties like TDP, TRS and BJD are not enthusiastic about the grand coalition against BJP. Though Mamata Banerjee is stridently opposing Modi government the party is still wishy-washy about joining the rainbow coalition. Right now the Congress is allied with NCP in Maharashtra, JD(S) in Karnataka, DMK in Tamil Nadu & Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD in Bihar, besides, with smaller parties like National conference in Kashmir & JMM in Jharkhand. In Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, Himachal & Uttarakhand it is locked in a direct fight with the BJP. It’s a fringe player in West Bengal, Odisha & Uttar Pradesh.
No anti incumbency against Modi
With everything going well in Narendra Modi led government, the only small hope for opposition led by Congress to stop Narendra Modi from becoming PM again is Mahagatbandhan. However with Mayawati playing spoilsport, it looks like Narendra Modi will have easier in 2019 elections. With only a few months left for the general election there’s a clear cut requirement to bring in regional parties under one umbrella as fighting polls together is always gainful when the ruling dispensation is not suffering any serious anti-incumbency factor. In 1989, a united opposition had trounced Rajiv Gandhi’s Congress riding on the back of a Bofors scam despite the Congress winning a whopping 404 seats only 5 years back. The index of opposition unity is nowhere to be seen. The opposition clearly needs its own VP Singh, who in 1989, had brought together both the Left & the BJP under one umbrella to take on the might of the Congress and it had worked.