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Hopes of new Parivar

Hopes of new Parivar
Highlights

The nation is agog with political developments all around. BJP, on a massive membership drive, has just shed its old guard. Congress vice-president

With elections due in Bihar, the Janata development gains urgency. Presumably, the new entity would have a battle plan ready

The nation is agog with political developments all around. BJP, on a massive membership drive, has just shed its old guard. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has returned after a long and mysterious sabbatical. The CPI (Marxist) is discussing ways to revive its political fortunes. Mayawati is planning a stir. And the Janata Parivar has unified, yet again. The Telugu parties have their task cut out with two States at their disposal.

The bottom line is: everyone is recovering from the shock therapy that last year’s Lok Sabha polls inflicted. Amit Shah would need to take note of this. With elections due in Bihar, the Janata development gains urgency. Presumably, the new entity would have a battle plan ready. Lalu Prasad says there is no ‘ahankar’ (conceit) among the leaders. Does he concede primacy to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, his friend-turned-foe-turned-friend? And what about Mulayam Singh whom everyone has acknowledged as the supremo at the organisational and parliamentary levels? Was there delay in merger because of unease among Mulayam and his followers that they would be giving in more than they get?

While still on ‘ahankar,’ the leaders have let it be known that former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda had reservations, but has been brought around. Has he reconciled to Mulayam getting the top slot and veto power in all party matters? The party has its base in Karnataka, thanks to him. Would he be able to revive its fortune in the State, which once was a Janata citadel? Almost all Janata satraps head families with ambitious members – all losers in the last poll.

Om Prakash Chautala, the INLD chief, has only his sons roaming free while he himself is in and out of jail. Genial Kamal Morarka is a one-man party. It remains to be seen if they can work as a coherent party. If they do, there is a lot coming for them. They have 15 members in the Lok Sabha and 30 in the upper house. Spread over nationally with 7.6 percent of votes, the new entity would technically be eligible for recognition as a national party.

Rather than make controversial statements and then express regrets, Mulayam and Sharad Yadav should reach out to other parties for coordinated action. Although the Marxists are not keen on a “Third Front” for now at least, there is ample room for floor coordination in legislatures and mass movements in states where they need to confront either the BJP or the Congress.

The new entity would obviously work on the basis of social engineering. The Muslim-Yadav combine of Lalu Prasad has been dented. Nitish Kumar has re-worked his base after he fell out with Jitan Ram Manjhi, representing the Mahadalits. Yet, a broad phalanx of OBCs and Muslims under the united Janata banner would be a formidable electoral combination.

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