Art of running a coalition Govt : Take a leaf out of NDA
Two plus two is equal to four. This is the universal truth, but it is also true that three plus one is equal to four and 1.5 plus 2.5 will also take one to the same result. The tragic part is when neither of the three approaches refuse to come to a meeting point and continue to shout and rail that only the result from their line of calculation is correct and the others are wrong. Juxtapose this to the current political stand off and one can get a fair idea of the point that is being sought to deliver. In other words the political stand off between the State units of the NPP and the BJP may be seen as a case of not knowing how to run a coalition Government or how to be part of a coalition Government. There Is No Alternative (TINA) is long dead and today instead it may be understood as NAC (No Alternative to Coalition), a line which seems to have been understood very well by the Central leadership of the BJP. And so it is that even though the BJP romped home comfortably with a tally of 303 seats in the Parliamentary elections of 2019, the NDA which it is leading is still very much alive and the current Government is widely referred to as the NDA or BJP led NDA Government and not solely a Government of the BJP. This is perfectly in line with what happened back in 1999 when the BJP stitched up alliances with other political parties to form the NDA under the leadership of Atal Behari Vajpayee and which saw the first non-Congress Government to complete a full term in office. The reality however here seems to be vastly different with no one seeming to know or reluctant to learn how to run a coalition Government or how to be part of a coalition Government.
Coalition. This has been the mantra of the BJP ever since it returned to the centre stage after the Parliamentary elections of 2014. As stated earlier here, even today it is in partnership with 25 or so other political parties to head the NDA Government and this is a lesson that seems to have been picked up by other North East States. The BJP may be heading the Government at Assam with 60 MLAs in the House of 126 but other parties such as the AGP with 14 MLAs and the Bodoland People’s Front with 12 MLAs are very much a part of the Government. The BJP may be a junior partner in the neighbouring State of Nagaland, but in teaming up with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) under Nephiu Rio it has been able to keep the NPF out of the Government. In the 2018 Assembly elections in Nagaland, the NDPP had won 18 seats and the BJP 12 seats and another partner the NPP two seats, demonstrating that it knows how to be part of a coalition Government. In Meghalaya too the BJP has demonstrated it knows how to be a junior partner in the NPP (19 MLAs) led Government with two MLAs. All these instances should teach the State unit of the BJP and the NPP that just as it takes two hands to clap, it is also important for both to learn how to run a coalition Government and how to be part of a coalition Government. Time to understand the spirit of NDA and only then will the present coalition Government have any meaning.