DELHI/ KARACHI (ENN/MD) Bhartia JantaDal Party (BJP) for the second consecutive time in Lok Sabha (Lower House) polls, has managed to cross the halfway mark of 272 seats — where it had won 282 seats in 2014, but in recent polls, it won 21 more seats to finish with 303 seats.
It is being said that BJP not need allies to form government but so why does the single largest party with a majority still need to humour its smaller allies?
There’s life outside the Parliament, especially in the states where the BJP has a coalition government with one or the other ally — such as in Bihar, where it’s in bed with the Nitish Kumar-led JD(U), Maharashtra, where the Shiv Sena is crucial for support despite its constant barbs in its official mouthpiece Saamna, the North East, where the BJP along with other non-Congress parties in each state formed the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) which is currently in power in Assam, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Manipur.
The BJP, which earlier had a wafer thin majority in Goa, where it’s in alliance with the GFP, has now managed a majority after winning three assembly by-polls on Thursday.
Even in states where it is not in power, such as in Punjab, where it’s in alliance with the SAD, the BJP can ill-afford to antagonise a party that has a strong hold in a Sikh-dominated state.
The Indian Parliament has two houses — and while the BJP can afford to ride roughshod over its allies in the Lok Sabha, it needs them in the Rajya Sabha (Upper House) to push through important legislative business such as bills, amendments and new laws.
Experts say that’s because the BJP has only 73 members in the 245 member upper house — the halfway mark being 123, which even after adding the allies seats, it is unable to achieve as the NDA total comes to 102 members. Given the paucity of friendlies, it would make little sense to antagonise the allies.
Therefore BJP would definitely keep their allies with them for better legislation in Lower and as well as Upper house.