30 July, 2021

Principles Be Damned

Ideology takes a backseat in a promiscuous spree of benefit-oriented tie-ups with regional parties

Principles Be Damned

THE mushrooming of regional par- ties in India—with the exception of Tamil Nadu, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab—has largely be en a phenomenon of the '80s. But of late, region-based parties have begun influencing national politics in a big way and major political parties are accepting them as dominant allies in the game of electoral partnerships. They are no more the political off-shoots of regional and parochial interests fuelled mainly by the Centre's lopsided concern for their development, but essentially the true representatives of regional aspirations.

A beleaguered P.V. Narasimha Rao sees in corruption-tainted J. Jayalalitha, AIADMK supremo, a saviour who is worth keeping on his side despite the revolt by state Congress leaders. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ropes in Bansi Lal, one of the vil-lians of the Emergency's excesses, and ties the bond of friendship with his Haryana Vikas Party. The Left parties have joined hands with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which spearheaded the Assam movement against 'foreign nationals'—a...

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