oppn parties Pre-Poll Alliances: BJP's Fast And Furious Moves

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  • PM Modi tells BJP workers that India is in for a long battle against the coronavirus and there is no scope to feel tired or defeated
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  • PM Modi asks ministers to prepare business continuity plan post the lifting of the lockdown
  • Corona cases in India cross 4000 and the death toll stands at 124
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  • Although it was obvious, but the government still clarifies that there is no need to switch off appliances and only lights need to be switched off on April 5 at 9pm after confusion in the minds of some people
  • PM Modi and President Trump decide "to deploy full strength of (Indo-US) partnership" to fight against COVID-19
  • 17 states have reported 1023 cases of coronavirus linked to the Tablighi Jamaat, which translates to 30% of all positive cases in India
  • The government says people should not use alcohol-based hand sanitizers before lighting diyas or candles on April 5
  • The railways say there is no certainty yet when services will resume after the lockdown and a final decision will be taken in the next few days
  • As coronavirus cases multiply in Assam, six north-east states seal their borders with the state
  • Power System Operation Corporation Ltd. (POCOSO) putting all systems and protocols in place at war-footing to ensure there is no grid failure due to reduction in demand on April 5 at 9 pm
  • Power ministry scotches rumours that the power grid might fail due to the 9-minute blackout called by PM Modi on Sunday, April 5
  • Centre asks people to wear home-made masks if it is absolutely essential for them to step out of homes
26 nurses and 3 doctors test positive for COVID-19 at Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, facility cordoned off, no entry or exit permitted from the hospital
oppn parties
Pre-Poll Alliances: BJP's Fast And Furious Moves

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-02-19 22:46:21

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The flurry of activity over the opposition mahagathbandhan, or mahamilavat, depending on which side of the political divide one is, has stirred the BJP into a fast-forward mode. In quick succession, the party has inked two alliances. On Monday it was the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra. On Tuesday, it was down south and the party sealed an alliance with the AIADMK and its allies in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. The two big parties in the state generally align with one or the other of the national alliances and with DMK already in the opposition camp, the AIDMK had no other choice than to join the NDA. But since the party was sending mixed signals, the BJP did well to move fast and close the deal.

Considering that the BJP has little or no following in the state and had won just one Lok Sabha seat in 2014, Piyush Goyal, the in-charge for the state, did well to get 5 seats to fight on. The south, except Karnataka, is an area where all national parties have to tug at the coattails of the regional biggies to get a toehold. Hence, this deal is a huge one for the BJP. By fighting on only five seats, it will be able to save resources and strengthen the infrastructure in these Lok Sabha constituencies. It has to be five seats at a time for the party as it has a long way to go in the state. But it remains to be seen how the people of the state treat the AIADMK after the death of the redoubtable Jayalalitha.

But one thing is certain. The speed with which the BJP is moving to seal alliances will rattle the opposition. They are yet to iron out major differences and the review of their draft common minimum programme (CMP) is still three weeks away. Several leaders in the proposed alliance are not on the same page. The Congress, powered by recent successes in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, is acting as if it is a given that Rahul Gandhi will be the next prime minister of the country. It is reluctant to yield even an inch to smaller parties in several states – a thing which goes against coalition dharma. At this rate, the mahagathbandhan will implode even before it takes shape.