By sealing alliances, BJP shows it’s a step ahead of Opposition in alliance-making game?
Bengaluru, Feb 21: After Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra which together account for 87 of the 543 elected Lok Sabha seats, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is now expected to seal pre-and post-poll alliances in Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
In Maharashtra, the BJP ruling party on Monday firmed up its old alliance with the Shiv Sena.
While, in Tamil Nadu, BJP out an arrangement on Tuesday with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and the Pattali Makkal Katchi. The party had finalised a deal with Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) in Bihar in October.
Now, the BJP has turned its attention to other states like Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
In Kerala, the BJP unit is in talks with ith the Bharatiya Dharma Jana Sena, an outfit with following among the OBC Ezhava community. While, in Andhra Pradesh, the BJP is trying to be friendly by showing its support to Jana Sena Party (JSP) leader and actor Pawan Kalyan, but he continues to remain mum about it.
With this move, BJP has proved that it is step ahead of the opposition whose plan to form a "grand alliance" is mired in confusion and squabbling between regional parties and the Congress.
Even though, the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have formed an alliance in Maharashtra, there is still ambiguity about the sharing of seats.
In Andhra Pradesh, several senior leaders have quit the Congress after the leadership decided to go it alone. In Kerala, the allies are demanding more seats than the party is willing to concede, adding to its woes ahead of the election.
Andhra Pradesh may well see both national parties pressing forth alone but at least one of the two top contenders' doors appear shut to the BJP when it comes to a post-poll alliance.
In Uttar Pradesh, taking on the formidable BSP-SP-RLD combine will not be easy for the BJP. And if there is one state where the Congress' alliance strategy can be faulted, it is Uttar Pradesh. With entry of Priyanka Gandhi in politics, Congress played a bold gamble but it will work only if the Congress ends up drawing more from the BJP's upper caste vote than from the BSP-SP core vote.