Regional parties could hold the keys of govt. formation at the center as most surveys predict a hung assembly. What will they do? Who will they support – NDA or UPA? This is analyzed in detail below. The main assumption of this article is that it will either be a UPA led or NDA led govt. at the center.
First lets have a look at parties which do are not part of any pre-poll alliance.
(i) Samajwadi Party:
Support NDA – Never
Support UPA – Yes, It already provides outside support to current UPA govt. Might even join govt. if able to snatch a good deal.
(ii) Bahujan Samaj Party:
Support NDA – Yes (probability low). It has formed govt. in Uttar Pradesh with BJP in the past. Relationship soured after that. A good deal, specifically, bifurcation of UP state into ¾ smaller states and helping Maya to become CM in at least 1 of those states could lead it to support NDA. Enemy of BJP & BSP is common – SP / Mulayam.
Support UPA – Yes, probability high. It already provides outside support to current UPA govt. Might even join govt. if able to snatch a good deal.
(iii) Janata Dal (United):
Support NDA – Never
Support UPA – Yes. It could provide outside support. Might even join govt. if able to get a good deal (special status for Bihar).
Party likely to split and a section led by Sharad Yadav could support NDA.
(iv) Left Front:
Support NDA – Never
Support UPA – Yes. It could provide outside support to UPA govt. in name of preventing communal forces (NDA) from coming to power. It did provide such support to UPA I before nuclear deal.
(v) Biju Janata Dal:
Support NDA – Yes (probability medium). It was part of NDA govt. during 1998-2004. Even in Orissa both BJP and BJD were allies in govt. Things could change if BJP emerges stronger in Odisha. BJP emerging as principal opposition party to BJD is likely to impact its decision. If BJD falls short of majority in Odisha (probability low) and requires NDA support to form govt. then it would reciprocate by providing support at center. If it is able to form govt. on its own, then it can provide outside support.
Support UPA – Never, as Congress is currently its biggest opposition party in Orissa.
Support NDA – Yes (probability medium). Amma has good equations with Modi which will help. BJP stitching an alliance and making a dent into her vote base has annoyed her though.
Support UPA – Yes if Congress dumps DMK publicly. Though DMK has ditched Congress, Congress has not closed doors for rapproachment.
So she could go either ways. She is an unreliable partner having played a crucial role in Vajpayee’s govt. downfall. NDA would not want to depend upon her support.
(vii) YSR Congress:
Support NDA – Yes. Will have no other choice, than to be in good books, to get some reprieve from CBI. Plus if he becomes CM of Seemandhra will need funds from center.
Support UPA – Despite lot of animosity with Congress, could still support it by striking a deal wrt CBI cases.
He will go with whoever forms government.
(viii) Trinamool Congress:
Support NDA – No. Was part of NDA govt. during 1998-2004. Recently there has been lot of animosity as BJP getting stronger in W.Bengal and resultantly cutting into her vote base. This has made her jittery / nervous and relationship has reached a point of no return.
Support UPA – No. Was part of govt. in UPA I and UPA II till very recently. It will not be with Left Front in same govt. and Left expected to support Congress.
(ix) Telangana Rashtriya Samiti
Support NDA – Yes. Was part of NDA govt. during 1998-2004. Like Jagan has no choice and would like to be in good books of center for funds for Telangana.
Support UPA – Yes.
Will go with whoever forms the govt.
(x) Aam Aadmi Party
Support NDA – Never.
Support UPA – Yes, pay back time for AAP. Ideologically it is close to Congress.
Support NDA – Yes (probability medium). Karuna has praised Modi before elections. Also to get some CBI reprieve for his daughter and other ministers. Condition can’t be in same govt. with Amma / Jaya.
Support UPA – Yes. To be in good books of center. Could go back to UPA.
So he could go either ways. Some may argue TN state elections are 2 years away and he would not want to risk minority vote bank by allying with BJP. Please be reminded that DMK was in NDA govt. of 1999-2004. Could join and pull rug before state elections.
Both YSR Congress and TRS will have to provide outside support as TDP might oppose their entry into cabinet. DMK also could provide outside support and not join ministry. They may want but BJP would not want to give any ministries to DMK.
Now lets have a look at parties which are part of either UPA or NDA and whether they will switch alliances.
NDA: NDA is a rainbow coalition of 28 parties currently led by BJP. Most of these parties are very small (0 / 1 MP) and have joined the bandwagon recently to capture the Modi wave. Shiv Sena and Akali Dal are the mainstay of the coalition and won’t leave it at any cost. Even TDP won’t dump NDA. All other 24 parties can dump the coalition for better prospects. Comfort factor is that they together won’t account for more than 10 seats.
UPA: UPA is a rainbow coalition of 12 parties currently led by Congress. Some of the partners have left due to dwindling prospects like DMK. RLD (Ajit Singh), RJD (Lalu), NCP (pawar), JMM (Soren) and NC (Abdullah) are the mainstay of the coalition. Lalu won’t leave the coalition at any cost and support NDA. Ajit Singh is a habitual hopper and could change sides. JMM is another party which keeps on hopping. It is currently heading the Jharkhand govt. supported by Congress 18 MLAs. Incidentally BJP also has 18 MLAs and JMM govt. could still survive, if it hops to NDA and Congress pulls the plug. NC won’t support though it was part of Vajpayee govt. earlier. It needs Congress backing in the state. Plus Abdullahs have become anti Modi. If anyone else leads NDA they could hop.
That leaves us with the curious case of Pawar. He has been giving hints of closeness with Modi and then taking it back . NCP runs a govt. with Congress in Maharashtra. State elections due in Oct. 2014. It wanted to join NDA as per rumours but Shiv Sena vetoed its entry. If Pawar provides outside support now he will have to go out from Maharashtra govt. He would like his ministers to enjoy another 6 months of raj. He will take calls post Maharashtra assembly elections. If NCP-Congress combine loses, then he will give outside support to NDA.
Regional parties want malai, and who ever gives them malai with jalebi they will join. Please see related post on why regional parties should be banned from contesting in national elections.