oppn parties Janata Parivar Unity: Acche Din are not Coming

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  • In reply to a question in Parliament, the government says it is empowered to lawfully intercept, monitor or decrpyt information stored in a computer resource in the interest of sovereignty or integrity of India
  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Janata Parivar Unity: Acche Din are not Coming

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
What happens when chest thumping satraps of this or that caste or community, with king sized egos, try to come together in order to consolidate their vote banks and fight a perceived common political enemy? Their respective egos, buttressed by their chamchas, advise them to lead the united front and they do not yield the ground to others. Hence, the front either does not happen or if it does, breaks down in a few months.

The current fiasco over the much hyped unity in the so-called Janata parivar (comprising of the splinter groups of one man shows that emerged after the break down of the Janata Party) followed the same trend. Laloo Prasad, Nitish Kumar and Mulayam Singh Yadav thought they had everything sewed up and they were very excited at fighting the BJP unitedly in Bihar, with it being a trial for bigger things in UP and then the whole of India. But mutual distrust among these leaders is greater than their fear of losing the elections.

The reasons for this distrust are many. First of all, all of them claim to represent the same constituency of voters â€" the backward classes, the so-called other backward classes (OBC’s) and the minorities. In the backward classes, they have managed to break down equations so fine that each leader claims the support of one or the other class. In theory, if they unite they should be assured of all such votes. But in practice, none of the leaders is willing to let go of his hold over the caste he represents. Secondly, most of these leaders have a deep distrust for each other on account of real or perceived back stabbing in the past and fear of repetitions of the same in the future. Instead of unitedly fighting the ‘devil’, their egos are pushing them individually towards the deep sea.

The present unity effort has fallen flat mainly because Lalu Prasad had asked Nitish Kumar not to include two persons â€" Lalan Singh and P K Shahi â€" in his cabinet as they were perceived by Lalu to be the ones who sent him to jail. But Nitish did not heed Lalu’s request. Now Lalu thinks that Nitish will indulge in more such ‘betrayals’ if they fight elections under a common party. Lalu is also apprehensive that Nitish and his party will corner most of the prized portfolios if the new set up wins the polls. Further, he does not like the emergence of Nitish Kumar as the champion of the downtrodden and the minorities. He feels that the new set up will not give him the eminence his supposed stature demands. Hence, he has forgotten all about the BJP and is now concentrating all his fire on Nitish, including making overtures to Jiten Majhi, Nitish Kumar’s bête noire.

As it is the strong caste based overtones in Bihar have meant that all parties are doing things they will not normally do. The BJP has started wooing the OBC’s and the Mahadalits to retain their support, as they had voted for it en masse to give it a spectacular 31 seats out of 40 in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections in the state. Nitish is bending backwards to win upper caste support, as their 15% votes can tilt the scales in many constituencies. In such a scenario, a united Janata parivar would have given the BJP a run for its money. But for that to happen, each leader will have to take a haircut. That does not seem likely now.