New Delhi, March 20: As the Modi dispensation nears completion of two years in office, an opposition MP foresees failure of both BJP and Congress in the next Lok Sabha polls as he claimed that the future of regional parties is "bright" and the upcoming assembly elections will be a "litmus test for regionalisation of Indian politics".
"(Prime Minister Narendra) Modi's charisma is declining. Congress' acceptability is very low, non-existent... The next government in Delhi in 2019, as I foresee, will not belong to either of the national parties," said Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Tathagata Satpathy.
In this backdrop, 2019 will see a historic election which will make this country politically "more alert and aware", he said. "The old adage of regional satraps fighting each other for Prime Minitership may not hold good forever... 2019 may throw up a new kind of leadership where mindset of people like Mulayam Singh Yadav would be a thing of the past," he said to a question on the leadership of the front of regional parties. "My BJD, led by Naveen Patnaik, is a frontal party," he said.
The four-time MP from Dhenkanal in Odisha said the future of regional parties is "bright". "The victory of BJP in 2014 was more because of the defeat of Congress. It was Congress which the people wanted to throw out," he said.
Son of former Odisha Chief Minister, the late Nandini Satpathy, who was in Congress, 59-year-old Satpathy feels India can remain united only if regional parties remain vibrant. Asserting "regionalism is well and alive", he said the assembly elections in five states and Union territories scheduled in the next two months is a "litmus test" for regionalisation of Indian politics.
"Except for Assam and to a certain extent Kerala, all three other states -- West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry -- are presently run by governments of the regional parties. I foresee this election to be a litmus test for regionalisation of Indian politics," he said.
India being such a diverse nation, it is only regional parties which can cater to the aspirations of their voters, he said, adding, "Regional parties must focus on local aspirations, development of agriculture and welfare measures... Strengthening these aspects will strengthen regional parties."