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  • Writer's pictureAmit Shankar

Ekla Chalo, Ekla Chalo, Ekla Chalo Re

Much to the chagrin of people who hate the Left and Bengla, Ekla Chalo by Rabindranath Tagore holds a lot of wisdom in today’s political turmoil.

During the course of changing socio-cultural milieu, the ’Power of One’ as an ideology has been seriously dented. No wonder, relationships to politics, we tend to seek comfort and derive strength from our partner.

This especially holds true for political parties seeking a short cut to expand their footprint. Remember the government headed by Morar Ji Desai? A potpourri of beliefs, the euphoria of defeating the Congress was short lived. The same could be said for Chandrashekhar’s government that met its untimely death due to clash of ideas. Though the UPA survived full two terms but was responsible for succumbing to the pressures of “Gathbandhan Dharma.” However, we all know what ‘Adharma’ they were into.

SP-Congress and SP-BSP alliance in UP, JDS-JDU-Congress in Bihar, the list of failed alliances never cease to exist. However, I presume that with the Sena-BJP rift in Maharashtra, the era of coalitions could be in its last leg for a dominant party like the BJP.

Of course, all parties seek expansion and without power, politics just dries up. Parties need funds and position to hold its cadre together. They need to be in apposition to please, appease and dole out favours.

No wonder, power becomes so important even if it means going against the pre-poll alliance or for that matter even the mandate.

If a novice like me can decipher this simple equation, I am sure full time politicians would understand it better. Then what drives them to go in for a coalition? Is it lethargy or greed, or both?

Expanding political footprint in newer areas require immense manpower, funds and dedication. Apart from BJP, none of the parties can boast of the same. Remember how the RSS-BJP cadre worked tirelessly in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, North East before they could claim the political paradigm? They are replicating the same in Kerala and southern states too.

But even a party like BJP understands the need to be in power. It also realises the acute and instant polarising that could happen if they fail to form the government. Karnataka has been the biggest example. This must have compelled them to side up with the devious and obnoxious Shiv Sena.

Shiv Sena by no yard of imagination is the party founded by Bala Shaeb Thakrey. Docile Udhav is no match for the charismatic and firebrand Bala Saheb. Neither he displays Bala Shab’s ideological commitment nor the fierceness of purpose. No wonder, this election saw him breaking the Sena norm by fielding his son Aditya.

Both, BJP and Sena cater to the same vote bank and ideology; right wing Hindu voters. Although, Shiv Sena has been trying to soft peddle it by adding another layer; Marathi Manus to it. With identical vote bank, both expect synergy of effort and consolidation of votes. However, with Sena’s mounting greed, the equation has come under pressure.

If BJP agrees to the obnoxious 50:50 demand, surely other coalition partners will also expect their pound of flesh.

On the other hand if Sena’s demand is not met, NCP and Congress won’t hesitate in supporting the Sena, expecting to better their tally in the mid-term poll.

This quandary gets us back to the fact of sticking to ones own political ideology and fighting it out. Politics is a long drawn battle with no short cuts. Quick fixes dent the party and its ideology. Remember how Congress was decimated in UP after alleging with SP? Do I need to mention what happened to SP after aligning with the BSP?

I hope BJP sticks to its agenda of development, nationalism and of course Hinduism. With its dedicated cadre and RSS backing them, reaching out and consolation won’t be an issue.

In the long run, Ekla Chalo is the way to go.

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