Bangalore, June 12: Has L K Advani's drama proved to be a shot in the arm for the regional satraps? The developments since the first day of the current week suggest something on those lines.
The way the veteran saffron leader embarrassed his own party within a day of Narendra Modi's elevation as the poll campaign chief, it proved to be a moral booster for the likes of Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik, Nitish Kumar and even Mulayam Singh Yadav.
It might not work out in the end but at the same time it can not be denied that Advani has made the task of his party to find post-poll partners in 2014 much difficult. There was actually no need for him to create a scene and harm his own party before giving in meekly.
Advani's self-goal boosted the regional players
The revolt by the BJP's tallest leader against its fresh leadership has strengthened the regional parties' belief that nothing will work right if a regime led by Narendra Modi comes to power in the near future.This will leave a strong impact on the idea of NDA plus of Advani himself and make the BJP's dream of forming the NDA II a challenging one to achieve.
Leaders like Banerjee and Patnaik have already showed their preference for a federal front and the Samajwadi Party (SP) too has backed the idea. Party MP Kiranmay Nanda said in Kolkata on Tuesday that the federal front is the only way out for India in the future, away from the corrupt Congress and communal BJP. The JD(U) has also hinted at a separation with the BJP and might then back the third front more seriously. Who knows?
Objectively, third front is a distant dream but...
Objectively speaking, chances of such front coming to power are distant at this moment. The regional parties do not have a country-wide presence and unless some of them get a major tally of 150-160 votes, it is impossible for such front to reach the magic figure of 272.
Support of either the Congress of BJP is an absolute necessity in that case. Besides, most of the regional parties are strong rivals at the state level and it is difficult to believe that they will join hands at the Centre to give a stable government. The Left, which has also tried to set up such a front timer and again, has expressed its distrust in such front under Banerjee's leadership.
... the irresponsible national parties may not make it look impossible
But the way the two national parties are disturbing the balance of the national politics, one can't be convinced that the illusive third front will remain so forever. The BJP has already rocked the NDA, thanks to Advani's senseless act while the Congress is just hoping to live another day at the moment.
The irresponsible action and approach of the two national parties have helped the lesser players gain a necessary confidence to exert more influence and even though the time has yet not come, the steady weakening of the Centre and growing assertion by the regional forces might indicate a new shift in India's politics. The fall of the Moghuls had also scripted a similar story in the 18th century till the British took charge.
For the moment, it is a trial-and-error process underway as far as setting up a third front is concerned. And Advani showed that it can not be ruled out entirely.