Coalitions born out of political expediency are becoming the norm today – born out of fig leaf type reasoning like ‘secular front’. I’ve discussed this in an earlier blog! But the fig leaf nature of these coalitions is becoming increasingly clear as the battle for vote-banks start heating up and conflicts hitherto concealed start bubbling up to the surface!
In two way fights like between the Communists and Congress in Kerala and West Bengal, this paradox is still not that obvious and while there is opposition, it’s still a bit of a civilized opposition! This is probably because there isn’t a vote-bank conflict of the type that’s being played out in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand.
In these three states in particular, the UPA ‘allies’ or onetime partners Congress on one side and SP, RJD, LJP on the other are fighting in 3/4 way fights – and are in a clear race for the minority and other caste votes in these states. What is the consequence of this?
That circus started a few days ago - Lalu Yadav of the RJD accused the Congress of being responsible for Babri Masjid which ‘dismayed’ the Congress according to its spokesperson. The increasingly political Prime Minister responded by saying ‘it’s your friend Kalyan Singh who was responsible for this’. A few hours later and at another venue, the Congress President Sonia Gandhi launched an attack on the Samajwadi Party describing it as unreliable. And so the race for the minority vote is officially on and ‘allies’ are falling out and scrapping out there in the open for all to see!
And as if the cup of embarrassment wasn’t already overflowing, DMK leader and Congress ally announced that Prabhakaran, the chief of the banned terrorist organization LTTE was his friend! And given that the LTTE was responsible for the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi, it obviously didn’t go down too well with Congress!
And through all this they remain political allies! So the question that begs to be asked, Can Parties that are in competition for the same political space be a part of the same coalition? Is it sustainable ?