Kushwaha follows Chandrababu Naidu out of the NDA
NEW DELHI: Going, going and finally gone. The Rashtriya Lok Samata Party led by Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha walked out of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance on Monday citing neglect of the other backwards as the reason. This is the third party, after the Telugu Desam and the Peoples Democratic Party to leave the NDA with other allies visibly straining at the leash.
Sources said that erstwhile Janata Dal member, Ram Vilas Paswan is feeling the Ayodhya temple heat. Union Minister and Lok Janshakti party chief, Paswan has not been very comfortable in alliance with the BJP following the Dalit protests and now the revived Ram temple agitation.
Kushwaha is tying up loose ends with the Opposition conglomeration, forming under the Congress watch. He lost little time in meeting Congress president Rahul Gandhi. TDP leader and Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu left to lead the Opposition into unity as it were, and is playing a key role in getting all in the opposite camp together.
The PDP under former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti quit the Jammu and Kashmir government, and hence the NDA. Mufti has emerged as a strong critic of the BJP and the government at the centre since.
The BJP has also been facing grief at the hands of another ally, the Shiv Sena that has been attacking its policies at every turn. Recently the Shiv Sena taunted the Prime Minister for his silence on the Ayodhya temple, and will finalise its stand viz a viz the BJP and NDA after the results of the state Assembly elections tomorrow, Tuesday.
Ayodhya has become a problematic issue for the BJP with the Janata Dal(U) and Nitish Kumar silent, and concerned about the government position on this. Indications are that the Bihar Chief Minister might review his position if the government indeed moves forward on the temple. Kumar had approached the Congress party for a possible rapprochement but this has not worked out as yet. But this was seen as sufficient indication by his party and the political spectrum that Nitish Kumar too is chaffing at the bit.
The Telengana Rashtriya Samiti led by K Chandasekhar Rao has recently turned down the BJP’s offer to join the NDA. Rao was being seen as a potential ally by the BJP, but he has allied with Asaduddin Owaisi and is reluctant to let this partner go. The BJP has said that it would like to ally with TRS provided it gives up on Owaisi of which there is no indication as yet. Of course the results again will determine these equations.
PM Modi and BJP strongman Amit Shah are finding it difficult to get allies in the southern states where the AIADMK too has not been a formal partner of the saffron party. It has lost Karnataka to the JD)S)-Congress alliance. It has not been able to sufficiently dent the Kerala Left bastion. And now in the Hindi heartland it is facing a tough challenge from the BSP- Samajwadi Party coalition in Uttar Pradesh, a resurgent Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar and the Congress in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand if trends from the election going states are confirmed when the votes are counted of the first three states tomorrow.
Aam Aadmi Party and chief minister Arvind Kejriwal who attended the larger Opposition unity for perhaps the first time is set to stop the BJP in its tracks yet again in Delhi. The Asom Gana Parishad in Assam has been alienated because of the citizenship issue. All in all an uncertain scenario that the BJP, however, remains confident it will overcome with PM Modi in the lead.