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POLITICAL : Kejriwal scores hat trick! Did Congress extend him hidden support ?

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In recent years, it has been a norm that the political parties which enjoys the majority they tend to stifle or deny any space to the regional parties and it’s small affiliated outfits, as observed in numerous Assembly polls including Maharashtra and Jharkhand. As political voices were stifled, it gave rise to coalitions or allies moving to the second national power, who can fulfil regional aspirations and it’s leadership requirements. But, smart politicking of giving space to the regional parties by the Congress has been observed in the past which led to the BJP allies quitting the BJP for instance Maharashtra. Which can give way to the regional aspirations, these gains multiplied their power and ability to take on and negotiate with national parties.

Many breakaway factions of the BJP supported regional aspirations, which did not find articulation within the larger organisation. Many of these leaders and splinter groups now have much greater power importance with the larger secular circle. The last two decades have seen the rise of coalitions at the national level. The initial unstable coalitions have given way to secure alliances, which have brought in major reforms and significant shifts in policy. They seemed to have even enhanced democratic legitimacy, representativeness and national unity.

As expected, the Aam Aadmi Party, and of course the tallest leader in Delhi Arvind Kejriwal could prove his undisputed dominance in the politics of Delhi. But could they achieve this hat-trick only due to the hidden support of the Congress? As in 2015, the Congress could secure 9 Percent vote share. Currently, it has secured three to four per cent of the vote this time. And this is where BJP’s victory could have been decided. If Congress had taken the same number of votes in the past, the BJP would have come closer to power or even to power because of the splitting of votes!

BJP got about 45 percent votes and AAP got 52 percent votes. If a careful assessment is done, this equation is just because Congress has almost extended an free way to the AAP in one way. Even if the Congress hasn’t stated the reasons that it has in one way accommodated or extended a free space to the AAP or for a reason Congress may deny giving any way to the AAP Polity, but still it is a eternal truth and fact. Seeing the extent to which the BJP has fielded all its elderly politicians, former Chief Ministers, MP’s and MLA’s, they tried very hard to grab power in Delhi, as it has also lost Mumbai (Financial capital) of India.

During the poll campaigns, the BJP took every opportunity to colour or label it’s opponents as Anti Nationals, Terrorists & didn’t forgot to mention itself as true patriots, hardcore Hindu’s everywhere, wherever they could campaign. Even not to forget, that Union Minister Prakash Javadekar had labelled Kejriwal a terrorist. But even so, the BJP couldn’t easily reach the two-digit number in the Delhi Assembly being the world largest party with cash rich electoral bonds.

In 2015, AAP could secure only 67 whereas in 2020 it got 5 seats less seats than they could achieve it in 2015. As nothing but is natural. After the AAP’s victory many regional parties & Shiv Sena, reacted sharply taunting the BJP as citing the defeat of BJP’s ideology. In 2019 Loksabha elections, seven MPs were elected to the BJP in the Lok Sabha in Delhi, and at that time, the BJP could send 65 out of the 90 candidates in Assembly constituencies. As whereas, AAP could secure 63 seats in the same Vidhan Sabha. At presently, in India, four states – Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Delhi – are ruled by non-BJP- Congress Governments.

Collectively, there are 90 Lok Sabha candidates in these respective assemblies. Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress and AAP all four parties have distanced away from BJP and Congress both. But under the changed situations, it is seemingly that the BJP allies are exiting from the world’s largest party. Certainly a possibility of all four parties are likely to get closer to the Congress in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

Today, it is obvious that the Congress is trying to adopt the method and style of BJP that regional parties must run the states and the Centre shall be administered or ruled by Congress. The possibility of elections in Bihar, Bengal and Uttar Pradesh, which could behave impact by Delhi’s results, cannot be ruled out. Of course, in all these places, the BJP will and shall try to fight polls on the basis of Citizenship Amendment Law and other NRC & NPR as well as aggressive Hindutva & terrorism by calling or labelling the opposition anti-national.

But if all the other anti – BJP opposition parties and the Communist party, including the National Party especially the Congress, if it shows unity and comes together, it can hamper the prospects of BJP earning the hat-trick in Loksabha 2024 elections. Of course, this will create a strange equation between the BJP and its one or two allied parties on the one hand, and on the other side the non-BJP parties and their allies, which will be a very rare combination. The importance of regional parties will increase in the politics of the country. But Congress has to work to unite all these non-BJP parties.

In keeping the view of 2024 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress for surely have extended a free space and hand in Delhi politics to the Aam Aadmi Party. Even if the Congress maintains these tactics in the Bengal, Bihar elections, even if the Congress gets less seats, they will succeed in keeping the BJP out of power. In fact, even if the BJP’s vote share seems to have increased in this polarization, their seats will appear to be diminished or falling indices. The eclipse of losing elections which BJP got from Maharashtra, has reached Delhi too !! If these shadows of eclipse continued to reach Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh tomorrow, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi will certainly not be able to get a hat-trick in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections!

-Jayant Mainkar

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