The United Progressive Alliance put together by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in 2004 has almost completely unravelled with the exit of the PMK on Thursday.
Worse, some of the allies who went their own way earlier are getting together, outside the UPA, to fight the Lok Sabha elections — such as the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Lok Janshakti Party and the Samajwadi Party.
Here is the UPA’s growing list of estranged allies and outside supporters — the PMK, TRS, MDMK, PDP, SP, RJD and LJP. And there was the Left Front that left in 2008 following differences over the nuclear agreement with the US.
The ruling alliance now has only the Congress, NCP, DMK and some minor outfits.
Excerpted from The Hindustan Times, 27 March
Gandhi’s strategy (which I noted previously) of eschewing a national alliance such as that of 2004, and instead going for state-by-state alliances, may go down as a major strategic mistake. Then again, if the NDA (the alliance led by the BJP and which had won a majority in 1999) falls short of a majority, the Congress Party may be able to form a minority government with the help of its various state-level allies.
With these developments and with the increased pre-electoral presence of the Third Front alliance, it appears that the elections that are about to begin will produce a much less clear-cut picture than the last two.