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Realignment of Forces: Reality or Mirage?

The fifteenth general elections have heralded a major shift towards single party dominance. Though it cannot be emphatically concluded that this dominance would continue, the BJP under Modi’s dispensation is sure to enforce its hegemony arithmetically as well as ideologically.  Modi getting 282 seats on his own is a welcome sign forit ends uncertainty and instability that characterize coalitions, but it also signals ominous portents. The belligerent Hindutva forces will not be content with development and might press hard for some kind of revivalism in the form of anti-minority pronouncements as well as actions. Known for their hawkish ideology they cannot always be reined in by Modi. In such circumstances a realignment of political forces becomes indispensable. After Indira Gandhi Modi is the most powerful leader. He singlehandedly scripted an impressive win for him as well as the Sanghparivar. His heady mix of Hindutva and development has attracted millions and translated it into a massive mandate.

Sharad Yadav’s overtures to Lalu Yadav cannot be dismissed away. The centrist parties with a distinct and slant towards social justice are virtually decimated. And they are decimated by a leader like Modi who would spare no effort in marginalizing them as even the slightest resurgence of SP, BSP, JD (U),RJD will dent in the BJP support base. It took the BJP (erstwhile Jan Sangh) around half a century to totally liquidate these forces in the Gangetic belt. Hence it would not squander away this opportunity and seek to consolidate the gains. Against this backdrop it is but natural for Mulayam, Nitish and Lalu to come together.

Mayawati too will have to join them as Modi’s sway over some sections of Dalits in U.P was too obvious. Among these leaders it is only Nitish who is not completely discredited. These leaders from Ambedkarite and Lohiate camps have to set their houses first and then regroup themselves in order to at least revive the fond memories of 1977 , 1989 and 1996 if not succeed in taking on Modi. Once these parties win around 75 seats, the likes of Paswanand other regional players will jump the bandwagon and a major shift will automatically take place. This entire prognosis holds good only when Modi fails to deliver. If he delivers the very idea of revival of Janata Parivar will lose relevance. The Congress, fatally wounded, is now lying in the political ICU. It takes time for it to recoup; leave alone gaining strength to fight the BJP.

In 1980 when the BJP was born Vajpayee declared that the party should strive to capture power within 15 years. His words almost came true as the BJP emerged as the single largest party in 1996. Now with a majority on its own it might not be difficult for it to overrun the eastern and southern territories. Odisha can anytime fall in its kitty given the religious orientation of the people and Bengal,beset with the problem of illegal migrants, may not be able to resist the saffron march for long. The newest vassal of Modi is Assam which has a genuine grievance related to Bangladeshi infiltration. Till 1990 the Janata Parivar led by Socialists and former Congress (O) men was stronger than the BJP in Maharastra and Gujarat. But things changed by 1993. Karnataka has become a BJP bastion just like Rajasthan or Chattisgarh. It is therefore natural to assume that with its pungent ideology and extensive organizational network the BJP will soon embark on an AswamedhaYagna to conquer the recalcitrant Bengal, Odisha and the Southern peninsula.My prediction is not devoid of logic and reason. Hence it is time the left, left of the centre, pro social justice and secular parties closed ranks.


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