Monday, March 4, 2024

Who will have the last laugh?

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SNCN ACHARYULU
Hyderabad

With Lok Sabha elections approaching the BJP and the Congress are trying to strengthen themselves. Both parties are trying to show their strength by organising meetings with their alliance partners. On paper, the BJP-led NDA has 38 parties and the Congress-led UPA has 26 parties.

In fact, UPA allies are stronger than NDA allies. Surprisingly, the NDA’s strength is not its direct allies but its indirect allies. Of the 38 NDA allies, 25 parties do not have even a single MP. Eight parties have only a single MP.

In the NDA, after the BJP the Shinde group of the Shiv Sena has the highest number (13) of MPs.

It is a known fact that the YSR Congress of Andhra Pradesh and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of Odisha are reliable indirect supporters of the NDA. While the YSR Congress has 22 MPs the BJD has 12 MPs.

In Telangana, the BRS has nine MPs and earlier the BRS was an indirect supporter of the NDA.

The YSR Congress and the BJP are expected to continue their indirect alliance after the next Lok Sabha elections too. Going by the latest developments the BRS may also take a decision to support the NDA after the Lok Sabha elections depending on the political situation at that time.

The YSR Congress, the BJD and the BRS are in a strong position in their respective states and are expected to win most of the MP seats in their states in the Lok Sabha elections.

Regarding UPA, it has strong allies compared to the NDA. UPA partners DMK has 24 MPs and the TMC has 23 MPs. In the NDA, the main political party BJP is strong and its allies are weak.

In the UPA the main political party Congress is weak but its allies are strong.

While the Congress is picking up strength gradually across the nation the BJP is losing its strength in states one after the other. But even then the BJP is stronger than the Congress in the country as a whole.

In Maharashtra, UPA allies Shiv Sena and the NCP are strong. But the splits in both parties have weakened them. But politics can take any turn when Lok Sabha elections come. The UPA does not have strong indirect supporters like the NDA.

In the opposition front, there are some more strong political parties like the Samajwadi Party and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The Janata Dal (United) headed by former Prime Minister Deve Gouda in Karnataka is also a strong party.

The JD (U) has given indications that it is ready to have an alliance with the BJP during the Lok Sabha elections. If the BJP and the JD (U) have an alliance they will be able to give a tough fight to the Congress in Karnataka.

While the BJP is trying for a hat-trick victory in the next Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is trying to prevent the BJP from coming to power at the Centre.

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