New Alliance: What was added and what was lost in the newly formed alliance?
Most political analysts in 2004 believed that the NDA would win the elections. Not only surveys, but all exit polls also showed NDA more than 250 seats. There was no face in front of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The economy was improving in the months leading up to the elections.
Liberalization policies were on track. India‘s foreign exchange reserves had grown to US$100 billion, the 7th largest in the world and a record for India. There was promotion of “Feel Good Factor” and “India Shining”.
But the NDA was stuck at 181 against 250 seats in the exit polls. The BJP decreased from 182 to 138, and the Congress increased from 114 to 145. The reason for this was that DMK, TDP, LJP and RLSP left the NDA. All of them were contesting the elections together with the Congress, yet the allies of the Congress could win only 73 seats, of which the RJD had the maximum 24, the DMK 16 and the NCP 9. That’s why neither the NDA got majority, nor the Congress alliance.
After the elections, the UPA was formed, which included PDP, TRS, AIMIM, Trinamool Congress, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, Janata Dal Democratic of Kerala, MDMK, TRS, PMK and BSP apart from old allies of Congress. But the total number of all these was only 218, then the UPA government was formed with the external support of 59 MPs from the Left parties and 36 MPs from the Samajwadi Party.
Will the formation of a new opposition alliance against the NDA in 2024 lead to a 2004 situation? Just as the country has achieved achievements in the infrastructure and economic sector during Vajpayee’s reign, but just as Vajpayee could not win on the basis of these achievements in 2004, Modi will not be able to win on the basis of these achievements in 2024. It is being said that the new alliance that has been formed in the name of “India”, if not more than that, the results of 2004 will definitely come. But it should be remembered that only the parties that joined the new alliance formed the government from 2004 to 2014 by supporting the Congress, and all these parties were rejected by the country in 2014 and 2019.
The opposition parties are very happy that they will get some votes in the name of “India”. But those people are more happy with the constituents of “India”, who did not believe in 2014 that the NDA would get a clear majority. Those leagues who ignore the ground reality and do biased analysis, they are proved wrong again and again.
It is not that the new opposition alliance will not be able to spoil the BJP, but those people who are comparing 2024 with 2004 are far away from the ground reality. Then BJP had never crossed the figure of 200, whereas now BJP has crossed the figure of 300. Out of these 224 seats, BJP got more than 51 percent votes, which proves that the opposition parties together are behind BJP in 224 seats.
The opposition alliance named India will definitely challenge Modi, but that challenge cannot be like 2004. Although this new coalition has all the same parties, which formed the UPA government in 2004, but in the meanwhile a lot of water has flown in the Ganges. When the UPA dissolved on July 18, it had 19 political parties, including Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena, and 108 MPs in the Lok Sabha. Apart from the 19 parties of the UPA, Samajwadi Party, RLD, two communist parties, Trinamool Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and JDU have joined the coalition named India on July 18. All these parties have 43 members in the Lok Sabha.
The Bahujan Samaj Party, TRS, AIMIM and JDS, which were in the UPA after 2004, are not part of the newly formed All India Alliance. Now the question is what is the status of the seven new parties that have joined the new UPA in their respective states. Communist parties have ended in Bengal and Tripura, in Kerala also won only one Lok Sabha seat last time, its influence has ended in the rest of the country as well.
Trinamool Congress definitely has an upper hand in West Bengal, last time it won 22 out of 42 seats defeating Congress, Communists and BJP, while BJP won 18 seats, Congress won 2 seats. If Trinamool Congress and Congress fight together in Bengal, there will definitely be a tough fight with the BJP and two-four seats of the India Alliance may also increase, but Mamta will not leave any seat to the Communists in the agreement.
The fourth party is the Samajwadi Party, which managed to win 5 Lok Sabha seats last time despite an alliance with the BSP. After breaking the alliance with BSP, when Akhilesh Yadav vacated his Lok Sabha seat by winning the assembly seat, he could not save his own Lok Sabha seat in the by-election. The Muslim-dominated Rampur seat, which fell vacant after the resignation of Azam Khan, could not be saved in the by-election. SP’s ally RLD has nothing to offer, its president Jayant Chowdhary BSP, despite having the support of SP, himself lost the election. Despite the farmer’s movement of Jats, RLD could win only eight seats by contesting 33 seats in the assembly. Meanwhile, Om Prakash Rajbhar has left the Samajwadi Party and joined the NDA, due to which Akhilesh Yadav has become very weak since 2019 and 2022.
Now JDU and Aam Aadmi Party are left. JDU won 16 seats last time in alliance with BJP, in 2014 it was clean in Bihar if it did not have alliance with BJP. Despite the alliance with the BJP in the assembly elections, its seats decreased. In the recent two months, Upendra Kushwaha and Jitan Ram Manjhi have left JDU and joined NDA. Due to the alliance of RJD and JDU, the contest will definitely be tough, but in Bihar also the BJP has a heavy upper hand, because its 2014 alliance partners have returned to the NDA.
As for the Aam Aadmi Party, it should be remembered that the Aam Aadmi Party won Delhi in 2013 and 2015, yet it did not get a single seat in Delhi in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Its strength has definitely increased in Punjab, where earlier also the NDA had only four seats, out of which two were of the BJP and two of the Akali Dal. In Punjab, the Aam Aadmi Party won the assembly elections not at the cost of the BJP, but at the cost of the Congress. If there is an alliance between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, then the BJP will benefit from it.
Meanwhile in Maharashtra, both the constituents of the old UPA and the new “India” Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray and NCP’s Sharad Pawar are no longer as strong as they were in 2019. Two-thirds of these two parties have gone to the NDA. That’s why NDA has not weakened like in 2004, it has become stronger than in 2014. Congress has definitely strengthened itself by making UPA India. In states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, the Aam Aadmi Party will not stand against it, then it will win some seats from these states, but it will not go beyond 100.
(The author has expressed his personal views in this article. Oneindia is not responsible for any views and information presented in the article.)