Sunday, July 21, 2024

Carry on, PM


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The NDA under Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge of the nation’s governance for the third consecutive term on Sunday on a note of optimism. This is despite the confused party positions in the new Parliament, where the BJP’s and Modi’s dominance has been tamed. Now that the new government has been installed, chances are that it would weather future political storms. The electorate has granted the BJP, the central political force, a solid 240-seats though the saffron party will have to depend on those outside of the old dependable allies for its sustenance. This is significant.
The Telegu Desam and Janata Dal United have pledged their support and are now major partners in the government. Even if they throw tantrums in the days ahead, the composition of the Lok Sabha is such that the BJP has ample scope and space for manoeuvring. Over 10 parties got one each seat while several parties outside of the NDA have three or more seats each. For a governing establishment, enticing many of them is no big shakes. That both Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar understand this arithmetic is clear from the spirit of all-out cooperation, not bargaining, that they are now extending to BJP and Modi. A break-up of the BJP is next to impossible unlike other political establishments. A common thread binds its MPs. All these should be good signs for the nation’s stability. The Congress party, appreciably, has not attempted a counter to the BJP’s move to form the government. The party or its INDIA alliance is far from being a strong force. The electorate did not want these parties to govern the nation now, but only act as a strong opposition and keep the BJP government under some control. Those like Mamata Banerjee of the TMC boycotted the swearing-in event in tune with her professed anti-BJP stance. At the outset, she had hinted at efforts by INDIA to explore possibilities of a government and proposed Nitish Kumar as PM if only to spite the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. This did not gain traction. Her unbeatable position in West Bengal however stands reinforced.
Modi, as also the BJP, is bound to face increased pressure on multiple fronts during his present innings due to internal power plays and external meddling. He did well by avoiding induction of the NCP nominee on the ground he was facing serious corruption charges. More issues would come up. Yogi Adityanath and Shivraj Singh Chouhan as well as Modi’s second line of ministers will be in competition for the upper hand in future. Naidu and Kumar were Modi’s ‘enemies’ in the past. No one ‘hated’ Modi as much as these two but as they say politics is the art of the possible. The two are with the NDA now because the situations warranted so.


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