14 June, 2021

Company Of Critics

The BJP’s position becomes shaky as its allies grow more strident and join forces on key issues

Company Of Critics

The ace up Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s sleeve is fast becoming a liability. The BJP’s allies, in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, which the saffron party had projected as its trump card ever since it stormed into power with their help, are fast becoming nettles in its flesh. The allies, with a strength of 125 in the Lok Sabha, have not only begun to assert themselves but have begun to act in cohesion on key issues much to the embarrassment and chagrin of the BJP. As things stand, the electoral arithmetic is such that there is no getting away from the growing clout of this emerging power bloc which, if push comes to shove, could even emerge as an alternative to the BJP.

Ever since the assembly elections to the four states, the allies have had a lot to cheer about. The BJP came a cropper in Haryana, performed far below par in Bihar-particularly in their stronghold of south Bihar-and the novice Naveen Patnaik romped home in style in Orissa with the BJP playing a mere second fiddle. In fact, the party’s gameplan of...

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