Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday spelled out the tenets of the "coalition dharma" his party practices. In an interview to news agency ANI, the Prime Minister said the BJP makes efforts to take allies along in decision-making, adding that his party is committed to giving importance to regional aspirations, without which the country could not be run.
"Our effort is to take everyone along, and listen to everyone. I am committed to give importance to regional aspirations. The country cannot be run by ignoring regional aspirations. That is why BJP is more successful," he said.
The BJP lost two important allies last year. In Bihar, Upendra Kushwaha quit the alliance over seat sharing, whereas N Chandrababu Naidu quit the NDA over his demand of a special financial status to Andhra Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh, two of its allies - Om Prakash Rajbhar and Apna Dal - have openly expressed discontent with the state leadership. The BJP had also ended alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir. The party ironed out its differences with Ram Vilas Paswan, allotting it two more seats, one in Lok Sabha and the other in Rajya Sabha.
"Those who associate with us, they prosper. So our effort remains that our allies blossom. Sometimes, some expectations are not met, they feel that they could benefit by putting pressure, some feel that such issues could be resolved through discussions. So parties have own character," he said while answering the question if his party's allies were flexing muscles after the assembly results.
PM Modi said the party adhered to the coalition "dharma" even after getting the majority. "In 2014, we got full majority, but we adhered to the coalition dharma. Took everyone together. Even today when we run the government, there is consensus in decision-making. It is true that states have their own level of politics. Our allies wish to grow and we too want them to grow. We do not want that we should grow at the cost of allies," he said.
After the assembly results, the BJP seems to be on the lookout for potential alliances for the upcoming general elections. Senior BJP leader Ram Madhav recently gave a glimpse of the BJP's roadmap on alliances in the run-up to the next year's national elections.
"Alliance politics is all about accommodation and adjustment and for that, the BJP is ready," Ram Madhav said. "It is true that certain smaller allies like Kushwaha have decided to leave us, but we are working on bringing new allies into our fold, especially in south India and the eastern India," he said.
On the other side of the political spectrum, the Congress has problems of its own. The party was in talks with anti-BJP regional parties for a pan-India alliance. The constituents of the proposed alliance had shown unity on many occasions. But the rift surfaced after MK Stalin proposed Rahul Gandhi as the opposition's prime ministerial face. Several major parties opposed Mr Stalin's proposal, saying the decision would be taken after the general election.
Also, there is a rival federal front in the offing. K Chandrashekar Rao is talking with regional leaders like Mamata Banerjee, and is prepared to leave out the Congress from the alliance for more leverage during post-poll negotiations.
On the upcoming Mahagathbandhan, a proposed BJP alliance, PM Modi said on Wednesday: "People will decide if they want to support those who loot even if they come together. It will be janta (people) vs gathbandhan (alliance)".
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