As we move towards 2019 Lok sabha elections, the clamour for a united opposition to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to increase. With the BJP forming its Government in 15 states in India and sharing power with other political parties in 4 states, the opposition parties have come together forming a coalition to defeat BJP. In various states, the state political parties have started finding a breeding ground to form a coalition thereby diluting their ideological boundaries. Together, the BSP and the SP in UP, the DMK and the Congress in Tamil Nadu, Mamata’s TMC, the Left and the Congress in West Bengal form formidable vote banks. In Madhya Pradesh also, where assembly elections are due later this year, there is an air about Congress – Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance.
In pre-poll survey findings released by Spick Media Network, Congress-BSP alliance may pose problems for BJP in Madhya Pradesh assembly elections, while without the alliance, there will be no change of Government in the BJP-ruled state. While the survey correctly identifies the strength of BJP in Madhya Pradesh owing to its successful governance model of more than a decade, it fails to see the hidden agenda of the alliance wherein the two parties are ready to sideline their ideologies for political mileage.
After its huge defeat in previous Lok sabha elections, Congress party has found it difficult to sustain its non-compromising position on political front. For instance, the recent tug of war between the Congress and JD(S) over portfolio allocation, in which the former had to bow down despite having secured more seats than the JD(S). Also, the defeat of no-confidence motion brought by the united opposition against BJP failed the ambitions of several political parties garnering sectarian political interests. Through this episode, the countrymen have seen that the Government had to face the no-confidence motion because its “only fault” was of “fighting corruption” and “standing with full force against nepotism.”
Undoubtedly, like the Government at the centre, the Shivraj Singh led Madhya Pradesh Government has given the corruption free state. Moving from Bimaru state which was deprived of electricity and healthcare amongst other basic infrastructure, to the state of prosperous economy with a balance between the primary, secondary and tertiary sector, Madhya Pradesh has come a long way in those fifteen years of BJP rule.
The assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh shall be seen as semi-finals to the Lok sabha elections of 2019. The people of these states would be happy to see the new developmental programs for them instead of being treated merely as a vote bank by the anti-BJP coalition. Rather than being only a number game of assembly seats, now elections must be fought on ideological footing, which the anti-BJP coalition seems to have lost.