With Lok Sabha elections due in few months, the cracks appearing in National Democratic Alliance (NDA is no good news for BJP. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) is indicating it might follow in Shiv Sena’s footsteps and strike out on its own. Shiv Sena had been sniping at BJP for long from within NDA, making it clear that it resented the inroads BJP made into Maharashtra. TDP has been far more cooperative and patient as an alliance partner, but it too now alleges being ignored in decision making. Shiv Sena has already declared that it would be contesting the 2019 general election and Maharashtra assembly polls separately. Now, its TDP supremo and Andhra Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu who has raised the flag of grievances over lack of funding for his State in the recent Union Budget. Naidu is seeking special financial packages for his State which were promised during the previous UPA government in view of bifurcation of united Andhra Pradesh to create a new State Telangana. Left with a largely agrarian economy in the new Andhra, Naidu is increasingly finding it hard to justify his alliance with BJP under current circumstances. Another NDA partner – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – has also started criticising BJP’s supposed failure to follow coalition Dharma. Meanwhile, BJP ally Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has effectively put paid to BJP’s push for simultaneous elections by stating that his State would go to polls as scheduled in 2020. All of these internal NDA rumblings suggest a subtle shift is underway. The political developments reinforced after the by-election results from Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana too have affected the NDA prospects. Congress is in upbeat mood and people do feel the differences emerging especially some of the BJP stronghold states fortunes tilting towards Congress. It’s possible that BJP may not get a majority on its own in the next Lok Sabha polls, increasing its need for allies. While the party had previously struck hard bargains with alliance partners, those equations may change and BJP will have to find ways of keeping partners on side. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and its president Amit Shah, the BJP has since 2014 got better of the Congress in every major State polls where both were the main rivals but with cracks appearing in the NDA alliance some new combinations may emerge as deciding factor for the 2019 elections.
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