Stronger than national parties
BRS President Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao once said that regional parties will play a big role at the Centre after the next LS general elections.
Is it true? Yes, according to a political analysis. At present, regional parties are very strong in the country than national parties like the BJP, the Congress and others. In the last five years, the BJP’s strength has declined substantially in Assembly elections.
According to an analysis, the BJP won 1,312 Assembly seats, the Congress 770 Assembly seats and regional parties 1,679 Assembly seats. In 13 states more MLAs of regional parties were elected than that of the BJP and the Congress.
Regional parties have dominance in 13 states over national parties. On a population basis, these parties represent around 50 crore people. On the basis of the country’s population, the BJP represents 48.8 crore people, the Congress 24.4 crore people and regional parties 55.4 crore people.
The BJP is in power in seven states and the Congress in four states. Regional parties are in power in nine states. The BJP has half or more MLAs among legislators in seven states and the Congress in four states. At the same time, regional parties have more than 80 per cent of the MLAs in nine states.
This analysis shows that regional parties are stronger in the country than the BJP and the Congress. But the voting pattern in the Lok Sabha elections is different from the one in Assembly elections. In Assembly elections, it is local issues that dominate and in Lok Sabha elections it is national issues.
Power in states will help regional parties to win a majority of the Lok Sabha seats in their states. In the post-poll scenario if all regional parties come together against the BJP-led NDA and the opposition front INDIA they will become a big force. They can be in a position to dictate terms to national parties.
Among regional parties, the YSR Congress of Andhra Pradesh, the Trinamool Congress of West Bengal and the DMK of Tamil Nadu may win around 20 Lok Sabha seats in their respective states according to the latest surveys.
The BRS in Telangana, the BJD in Odisha, and the Shiv Sena (both factions) in Maharashtra may win a majority of the LS seats in their respective states. Anyway, the role of regional parties on the national stage will depend on the seats won by the BJP and the Congress in the next Lok Sabha elections.