Enter the Samajwadi Janata Dal

So, the news channels are sceptical about the idea of the Samajwadi Janata Dal. It’s old hat, isn’t it?  The old farts vow to fight the common enemy, clamber on one platform in show of solidarity, totter for a few steps together and then fall flat on their .. er.. faces. Personal ambition kicks in quickly, as do egos and that’s the end of it.

But this time, is there a shift in the script? These chaps are not trying to form a new front on the lines of the NDA or the UPA. Too many parties with ideological asymmetry made the experiment a disaster. These fellows are merging to form a single party. They are settling the leadership question in the beginning. As  a single political party, the Congress or the BJP can’t distract or confuse them. Desperation, driven by the fear of being rendered politically redundant, is the glue that will bind these Janata Samajwadi chaps longer this time.

With the opposition space almost vacant in national politics, there is ample scope for an entity like Samajwadi Janata Party to make its presence felt. It can easily be the rallying point for other non-BJP, non-Congress parties. If this party actually takes birth and begins toddling,  the watch out BJP!

The BJP seems to be taking its new-found pre-eminence in national politics for granted. Their smugness shows often in the utterances of its leaders these days. With Narendra Modi as its mascot, BJP feels it has no challengers left in the country. Successive electoral victories in states have reinforced this notion of invincibility. But the chinks in its armour are visible already. A strong opposition can easily make political capital of these. With the Congress in the doldrums, a socialist-secularist party such as the proposed Samajwadi Janata Party is particularly positioned to do just that.

In the past six months, the ruling dispensation which includes the Sangh Parivar – let’s not be coy – has opened up more conflict areas than it can possibly handle. There are also several very tall promises made to several segments of the electorate.

The expression ‘secularism’ may sound inane at this point, but it is an important subject around which the next big political battle will be fought. The BJP  is making the big mistake of misconstruing their electoral victory as a  victory for the RSS ideology. look at its deliberate silence or double-speak on the activities of the Hindutva elements who are now more assertive, brazen and confrontational in the last few months. Unless it does course correction and manages to erase the growing perception that it is siding with reactionary and fundamentalist  forces, it might end up alienating Hindu liberals as well as the minority communities.

The splinter groups of the Janata Parivar still enjoy good traction among the minorities in their respective states. Fighting as one unit they would be able to manage to stop the splintering of these votes.

The BJP government has an aggressive pro-industry economic agenda. This will create political space for parties with socialist leaning. Now the government will push with amendments to the Land Act and largescale acquisition of land. So look out for several conflicts with farmers happening across the country. The BJP may have forgotten that the UPA government’s Land Act was necessitated by such conflicts in the first place. The ground reality has not changed a bit with the change of government. The more the present government sides with the industry lobbies on land matters, the more it vacates space for the opposition.

The Modi government is enjoying an extended honeymoon period. The media not begun to ask it uncomfortable questions, although there many to ask. One year from now, the equation might not stay the same. What about the voters, particularly the young ones, who expected great changes? For a party which has overpromised, the chances of under-delivery are larger.

As the performance of the government comes under scrutiny at some point and the playing field gets more even, the strongest party in the opposition space is the best placed to reap the benefits. With the Congress tottering, the Samjwadi Janata Party – if it is in existence by then – would be going great guns.

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Posted by on December 6, 2014. Filed under Breaking News,Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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