The RSS/BJP is getting ready to win over 100 seats they lost in the last Lok Sabha elections. It has already started the process of reviewing why it lost the seats. This means that the RSS/BJP is making it a point to have absolute power after 2019. Generally, the draconian regime become sharper in the second term when the power is consolidated and the opposition is decimated. RSS/BJP is moving towards one party rule. This development is dangerous for India’s democracy and steps must be taken now to counter this development in 2019 elections.
The BJP has an efficient party structure where the RSS/BJP has a paid party bureaucracy that forms a layer between the RSS and the BJP. They have well oiled political machinery. The Congress had a party apparatus but its popular support is gone and also the party apparatus is collapsing, thanks to the BJP’s efforts to buy Congress politicians.
The communists in India have a strong intellectual organization and various wings with strong party apparatus in some states. The regional parties all over India are dominant in the states and they are open to form alliances with the national players. India has many regional parties and they have important share in the vote bank. The important regional parties are TNC in West Bengal, BJD in Odisha, AIDMK in Tamil Nadu, TRS in Telangana, and TDP in Andhra Pradesh, JD in Bihar, JMM in Jharkhand in power in the respective states. Besides these regional political parties in power, some of them are sharing power with the RSS/BJP, for example, Shiv Sena in Maharashtra.
There are strong regional parties like the SP in UP which lost in the last assembly elections. The BJP, Congress, the Communists, and the BSP have emerged as the national parties. However, the BJP is the only party that is becoming stronger and stronger as the national party, while the other three are in decline.
Can the national parties consolidate to form a stronger opposition to the RSS/BJP in the coming 2019 elections with form regional alliances in the states?
This will determine the fate of democracy in India as the opposition is very much part of the government as is the ruling party. The initiative must be made now and it must start in 2017 because the process will take a longer time to form this multi-party alliance.
After the UP assembly elections, the members of the SP are discussing possibilities to join with the BSP to stop the RSS/BJP. In UP, if the SP, BSP, and Congress can form an alliance, they will be sure winners. Likewise all the possibilities should be worked out and the like minded parties must form alliances.
The key to this alliance is with the BSP and its leadership
The political analysts know that the BSP has a solid vote bank which cannot be brought as this party is based on the movement of social justice, democracy, and human rights and it has all India network. The Congress, though having a powerful infrastructure, has lost the support. Perhaps the Congress can lend its machinery to the alliance. The BSP can lend ideology which has a strong anti-RSS/BJP and anti-caste features and the Congress can lend the machinery to this alliance.
While the communists can continue to train their gun against the capitalists, particularly against the Bania capitalism and Brahmanism. It will need a lot of maturity to form this alliance and it will not be an easy alliance as the political bosses will have to negotiate their power and at the same time their egos. It is not difficult to achieve. The care must be taken to bring the OBC movement for the reservation in this alliance by offering suitable and workable solution to their problems.
A joint minimum common agenda will set the tune for the future work and collaboration. Who would lead this alliance will be a bigger question? But that leadership can evolve in the coming two years. As a step towards consolidation, the following steps must be taken:
- A common campaign to fight the EVM and bring in the paper ballot will be a good ground to come together
- Negotiating regional and national spaces with political maturity will be essential
- Social mobilization of various castes and particularly those whose voices are unheard or not known will be important
- Lastly, but perhaps the most important will be put a common front in Rajya Sabha and challenge the RSS/BJP Government’s steps towards autocratic power in the next two years.
Author – Mangesh Dhaiwale, Human Rights Activist