The Alliance Scenario for 2019 Election

An anti-BJP front in 2019 is more likely to function at the state-level rather than as a pan-India alliance under the leadership of Congress

The Alliance Scenario for 2019 Election
The Alliance Scenario for 2019 Election

The opposition’s failure to project a single leader opposite Modi is likely to cost them dearly in 2019 election

In nine states—Arunachal Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand, there will apparently be a bipolar contest between BJP and Congress. The BJP had swept these states in 2014 and won 100 out of 106 seats. Moreover, it had won 79 of these seats with more than 50% votes. The position of Congress in the Indian polity will be finally determined in this 2019 Lok Sabha election, largely in these states and in Kerala, Karnataka and Punjab, the last few bastions for Congress.

The shared urgency to checkmate BJP in the electoral battles means individual parties agreeing to show pragmatism in seat adjustments to avoid split of anti-BJP votes

An anti-BJP front in 2019 is more likely to function at the state-level rather than as a pan-India alliance under the leadership of Congress. States, where Opposition parties are working for separate anti-BJP pre-poll alliances, are Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir. They account for 255 Lok Sabha seats, almost half the strength of the House. The BJP alone won nearly 150 of the seats in 2014, while its allies added another dozen-odd.

There is intense speculation about this ‘Mahagathbandhan’ among opposition parties, with Mayawati as one of the kingpins. At the same time, Congress under Rahul Gandhi is likely to be a diminishing force in national politics, and thus anyone keen to occupy the Congress’ space needs to help cut it down to size, and grow its own presence across states.

Thus, after five months of fruitless seat-sharing talks, Mayawati on Thursday served up a double whammy for the Congress – a tie-up with its rebel Ajit Jogi in Chhattisgarh and names for 22 seats in Madhya Pradesh. A further indication is that BSP  will contest without alliance in Rajasthan election, too. So, ‘Mahagathbandhan’ has failed to click, already, in three states. Another is Telangana where CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has called Congress president Rahul Gandhi the ‘biggest buffoon in the country’. He obviously would have no alliance with Congress. These are however for state elections only. Yet, it indicates how difficult it will be to work out anything remotely like ‘Mahagathbandhan’.

The shared urgency to checkmate BJP in the electoral battles means individual parties agreeing to show pragmatism in seat adjustments to avoid split of anti-BJP votes. Mayawati hopes that with a total of up to 40 MPs from UP, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab, she may well become the largest party in the coalition unless Bhim Army does queer the pitch for her.

South India with a total of 131 Lok Sabha seats and Uttar Pradesh with 80 will be the epicentre of the 2019 battle. The opposition has to maximize its winnings here to make up for its likely losses elsewhere.

Ceding too many seats to the Congress in UP means Mayawati’s own MP counts will be lower, making it tough to pursue her prime ministerial ambitions in case of a hung house. While SP-BSP combine would take the lion’s share of seats in UP, where BJP won 71 of the 80 LS seats, the Congress leadership, posturing notwithstanding, would settle along with RLD as minor partners.

In Bihar, where BJP and allies won 31 out of 40 LS seats, RJD, Congress, NCP and outfits of Sharad Yadav and Jitan Manjhi could come together. In Jharkhand, where BJP won 12 of 14 LS seats, efforts are on for a JMM-Congress-RJD-Marandi alliance. Notwithstanding hiccups the Kumaraswamy government faces in Karnataka, where BJP won 14 of 28 LS seats, JDS Congress combine looms large as a formidable prospect. Tamil Nadu could see a revival of the DMK-Congress alliance, where some other parties including Kamal Haasan’s outfit would be included. In Maharashtra, where BJP won 23 and Shiv Sena 18 of the.48 seats, opposition alliance without Shiv Sena would not be able to cut much ice. With the break-up of BJP-PDP alliance, which won all six LS seats in J&K, the Opposition feels the electoral prospects of the Congress-NC has brightened.

Mahagathbandhans are being formed only in areas where there are no strong regional players. Thus, TDP and Congress have tied up in Telangana, not Andhra; Congress and Left may tie up in West Bengal for Trinamool is unlikely to sacrifice its seats to accommodate either of them; AAP and Congress may have tactical seat-share deals in Delhi without calling it an alliance.

South India with a total of 131 Lok Sabha seats and Uttar Pradesh with 80 will be the epicentre of the 2019 battle. The opposition has to maximize its winnings here to make up for its likely losses elsewhere.

It is too early to say anything definite about pre-poll alliances in 2019. Much will depend on the election results in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan. More uncertain is the outcome of the Lok Sabha election. By-poll results are not always indicative of the trends in national elections. But at the same time, the anti-incumbency factor against BJP can’t be largely discounted. All said and done, the opposition’s failure to project a single leader opposite Modi is likely to cost them dearly.

Note:
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

5 COMMENTS

  1. A new debate is raging in the corridors of power in New Delhi. Should money power be allowed to play a determining role in shaping the outcome of the national elections? The Election Commission is considering the pros and cons of imposing a cap on the amount of money a political party can spend on campaigning. The BJP is against it; all other parties want it. It is quite obvious why. Right now, one party has the means, the others do not and the BJP thinks it is a classic case of sour grapes.

  2. Anti MahaThagBandhan Voters should ensure that they come out of their Homes on Voting Day and vote these frauds out in such a manner that hey loose even their deposits.

  3. One can’t predict anything about these scoundrels they can lick early others shoes without any shame. Greatest example Karnataka, sidhu etc

Leave a Reply to election result 2019 Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here