16 May, 2021

Tough Act

The BJP is poised for its second brush with power. But its sense of destiny may soon drown in the cacophony of coalition politics.

Tough Act

"The nation needs stability and the BJP is the only party that can provide it". —Atal Behari Vajpayee, during the campaign for the 12th Lok Sabha.

AS the BJP, prepared itself for high office the second time in less than two years, these words have come back to haunt the party.This is not how they would have liked it; their way being cleared by the "neutral stand" Chandrababu Naidu with his 12 TDP MPs is likely to take. Party leaders insist it's too early to pass judgement, that the fractured mandate has to be taken into account, and argue there is a "qualitative difference" in the proposed BJP-led coalition. That it is a turn in the epoch.

But there remains a niggling suspicion. For a party that has spent the past two years ridiculing the "13-party dalliance" a.k.a. the United Front, dealing with close to 20 political formations—"allies in government formation"—is proving arduous. The deluge of euphemisms may not stop it from becoming even more so. Especially, as BJP...

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