Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

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A double feat

Last week, when the TDP pulled out its two ministers from the Narendra Modi government, it seemed that the party would leverage its intermediate position — of being in the ruling coalition but not in government — to extract more financial concessions for Andhra Pradesh from the Centre. On Friday, however, Chandrababu Naidu’s party ended the ambiguity, completed the divorce formalities, exited the NDA. And for the BJP, thereby hangs a cautionary tale. To be sure, the loss of the TDP’s numbers is unlikely to imperil its continuance in power at the Centre, and of course, Naidu’s reasons must primarily have to do with state-level calculations. Yet, if politics is not just a game of thrones, but also of perceptions, Naidu’s exit following on the heels of the setbacks in bypolls in UP and Bihar means that the BJP has an image problem, if not more.

Party leaders and managers need to ask themselves if the rising clamour of unhappy and exiting allies calls for a sober review, some course correction. The walk-out of the BJP’s largest ally in the south comes even as the disgruntlement of its oldest partner is becoming more insistent. The Shiv Sena recently declared that it would contest next year’s national and Maharashtra assembly elections on its own, and the party’s mouthpiece has predicted a steep drop in the BJP’s tally in 2019. Meanwhile, last month in Bihar, a smaller ally, Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM, also voted with its feet, quit the NDA to join the RJD-led Grand Alliance, that has held its own in the latest bypolls despite the return of Nitish Kumar to the alliance with the BJP and the incarceration of Lalu Prasad. As in Andhra Pradesh, the political rumbles in Bihar and Maharashtra are impelled by state-specific factors, but they also add up to a vote of no-confidence in the terms of partnership offered by the BJP at the national level. The party would do well to confront, not dismiss, Naidu’s story of 29 unfruitful trips to Delhi, and Uddhav Thackeray’s oft-repeated charge of arrogance against the BJP’s top leadership.

At the same time as the BJP is alienating friends, it seems to be bringing together its opponents. Its bypoll defeats in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, the constituencies of its UP chief minister and his deputy respectively, at the hands of the SP-BSP alliance, have sent out a message of the formidable Modi-Shah machine’s vulnerability in the face of an Opposition willing to bury the differences within to unite against the BJP. In the run-up to 2019, then, the BJP can take the credit for the dubious achievement of making its allies uneasy while also combining and concentrating the energies of its adversaries.

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