After completion of 5 phases of the Lok Sabha elections and two phases remaining, the political manoeuvring and game plan seem to be picking pace. As a desperate measure to stop the BJP from forming the government, 21 opposition parties seem to have come up with a unique plan.
As per a source based report in NDTV, the 21 opposition parties are planning to sign a letter to the President of India, requesting him not to invite the single largest party to form the government. The report says, the 21 said parties are expecting that once the election results are out, they will be ready to show the president their letters of support to form an ‘alternative government’.
The report states that the purpose of the ‘letter’ is to stop the President from inviting the single largest party to form the government at the centre and ensuring that the single largest party does not get the chance to make or break regional alliances after election results are out on May 23.
This plan by the said 21 parties, however, rests on the hope that the NDA will fall short of majority seats (272) in the Lok Sabha that holds 543 elected seats and there is a hung parliament. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP had won 282 seats on its own, the NDA, a coalition of BJP and several regional parties, had won 336 seats in total, forming the first clear majority government in decades.
For the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, some exit polls had predicted a clear majority for the NDA while some had predicted a hung parliament. The lack of a clear majority to any political party has been the base of many political games and governments in the past.
It is notable here that the above mentioned ’21 opposition’ parties have been very busy trying to forage whatever political mileage they can. They had been vehemently against EVMs initially and when the anti-EVM campaigning failed, they had demanded a 50% VVPAT verification, a review petition for which was dismissed by the Supreme Court yesterday.
Prior to that, the 21 opposition parties had also banded together against the NDA government after the Indian Air Force’s strike on JeM terrorist camps inside Pakistan’s Balakot and had condemned the ‘politicisation of armed forces’. They had alleged that the government is trying to take credit for the task performed by soldiers and had even peddled blatant lies about all-party meeting. Interestingly, their statements had found support in Pakistan where the Pakistan government’s official broadcasting channels and its ministers had hailed the move and endorsed the statements made by the said parties.
It is, however, interesting to note that while the ’21 opposition parties’ have been trying to pull every possible trick to gain power, they do not seem to trust each other enough to form a pre-poll grand alliance and offer an honest face before the voters. Despite much talk of a united opposition to take on the BJP, ample photo ops, grandstanding and statements, the opposition parties had not set a clear picture of who their PM candidate will be or whether they are fighting the elections together. Their actions only show that they are after power at any cost and willing to be open for horse tradings and post-poll political tug of war to get a slice of the central government by hoodwinking the electoral mandate.