Built brick by brick by Vajpayee and Advani over a decade, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to lose its potential allies, now under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. The strong bricks are now falling out posing a greater threat to the very existence of the NDA. It may not be surprised to see if NDA gets isolated by the major allies after the 2019 elections if Modi-Shah continues to be ‘arrogant’ with the allies.
After BJP, the top two allies – TDP from Andhra Pradesh with 16 MPs and the Shiv Sena from Maharastra with 16 MPs – are posing a threat to the existence of the NDA. The TDP had quit the Cabinet and is set to stage a walk out any movement if its demands are not honoured. The third major partner – Shiromani Akali Dal from Punjab – had already declared that it would contest the 2019 elections out of the NDA. Though there is no impending threat to the NDA from Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janashakti Party from Bihar with 6 MPs, the exist of Shiv Sena and Akali Dal, are a big threat to the NDA. If the TDP also stages a walk out to contest out of the NDA, the BJP would have to sail with the small partners who have just one or two MPs or have no representation at all out of the total 48 parties in the alliance.
Earlier in 1998 when it was first formed by the BJP with 13 parties under the leadership of Vajpayee and Advani, the big brother – BJP – had always lent its ear and helping hand to the allies, carrying every party along. However, the potential allies like AIADMK of late Jayalalithaa from Tamil Nadu and Janata Dal (United) of Sharad Yadav from Bihar left the NDA, even before Modi-Shah took over the reins. However, the JD (U), now headed by Nitish Kumar, had returned to the NDA in 2017.
All is not well in the NDA with the Modi-Shah playing big brother role and not giving due respect to the allies, As TDP standing in queue at the exit gate, the NDA may not have the same strength when it goes for the next elections in 2019.
“The leadership (in NDA) is not democratic. There is arrogance of power (in the leadership) and the allies are bullied by the big brother which is not good,” is what a senior analyst commented about the style of functioning of Modi-Shah duo.