Modi wave, a thing of past

Modi wave, a thing of past
Highlights

Climbdown, aboutturn, volteface no matter what you call it, political parties are doing it all rather briskly in the countdown to the Lok Sabha elections After years of animosity and bitterness, the Shiv Sena has stitched a prepoll alliance with the BJP for the parliamentary and Assembly battles in Maharashtra Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who had announced last year that his party would hav

Climbdown, about-turn, volte-face — no matter what you call it, political parties are doing it all rather briskly in the countdown to the Lok Sabha elections. After years of animosity and bitterness, the Shiv Sena has stitched a pre-poll alliance with the BJP for the parliamentary and Assembly battles in Maharashtra. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, who had announced last year that his party would have no truck with the saffron party, is now singing paeans to Narendra Modi’s leadership.

He claims that the BJP has changed its way of dealing with its allies. In any case, this stop-gap arrangement hardly gives the impression that the bickering partners have managed to sort out their differences over the Ram temple and other issues. The new-found bonhomie may not last long as Uddhav is bent on having the next Chief Minister from his party.The Shiv Sena is no longer the second biggest constituent of the BJP-led NDA.

The spot has now been claimed by Tamil Nadu’s ruling party AIADMK, which has tied up with the BJP and the PMK. The three parties had contested the 2014 Lok Sabha elections separately, with the AIADMK, led by then Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, clinching 37 of the 39 seats and the others winning one each. After her death, the party finds itself on a weak wicket due to strong anti-incumbency sentiments. That largely explains why it is back on the BJP’s side.

The PMK, which has been shuttling between the NDA and the UPA over the past two decades, seems to have conveniently forgotten the fact that it was denied a ministerial berth in the Modi government.Ironically, the BJP, which has been ridiculing Opposition parties for forging opportunistic alliances — dubbing these as ‘mahamilawat’ and ‘mahathugbandhan’ — is taking the same route.

This desperation suggests that the party is jittery about its electoral prospects and is not regarding another five-year term at the Centre as a foregone conclusion. With the 2014 Modi wave a thing of the past, Amit Shah and Co are busy clutching at straws. Whether the gamble will help them or their rivals is anybody’s guess.

Radhakrishna K, Suryapet

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