ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Party with No Difference

The BJP is fooling itself if it thinks the voter sees it as an alternative to the unpopular Congress.

The leading opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), cannot hope for a better political situation. The unpopularity of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is at an all-time high, as is evident from the ­results of several parliamentary by-elections and state assembly elections held recently. The relations between the Congress and its allies are increasingly strained and the UPA has been compelled to deal with this by trying to stitch new alliances with parties such as the Samajwadi Party.

It is not that in the process the BJP has managed to increase its popularity in the public imagination. It is in power in a number of states but has not won any major elections recently. It has also not been able to add any new allies from among the regional parties. In the run-up to the presidential elections, it has been outwitted by the Congress which has even been able to get support for its presidential nominee from the BJP’s strongest allies – the Shiv Sena and the Janata Dal (United). But, more substantially, the BJP does not look like a party that has a clear vision of where it stands ideologically. Internal squabbling and lack of cohesion as a national party have convinced few that it is an alternative to the Congress.

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