Regional Forces - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Regional Forces

6113
By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 10, 2020 6:22 pm

The recent events in Rajasthan are one of the latest in a long line of catastrophic mistakes made by the Congress party. Its paranoia in relation to maintaining power has led to overdependence on older leadership and the marginalisation of the younger generation within the party. This was visible in Madhya Pradesh with one of its most promising young leaders walking out, a repeat of which can be seen in Rajasthan. Many have been concerned by the alarming decline of the Congress party as it has also coincided with the rise of the BJP which has now expanded to almost almost every part of the country. Therefore many have been worried by the dominance of one party on the national stage. But the present situation also offers various opportunities to various regional parties.

While one may contend that the lack of a second national party may threaten the existence of the regional parties, the trends post 2014 may suggest otherwise. While the BJP has been able to maintain its dominance in the Lok Sabha, it has faced mixed fortunes in Assembly elections. In states, having a strong regional party, BJP has been defeated. This trend has been seen in Delhi (2015, 2020), West Bengal, and Jharkhand along with few other states. Highlighting the fact that while the central leadership has maintained its popularity, BJP’s state leadership has not been able to garner enough support in various states. As a matter of fact, while in states where it has faced Congress, BJP has managed to maintain power; but it has not been able to do so against the regional parties.

Therefore this trend highlights a promising pattern and establishes regional parties as independent entities which do not require the support of the national parties to survive. With their respective support bases these regional parties have played an important role in the formation of government at the Centre, especially post 1989. But during that period they played a complimentary role in the formation and functioning of Central Governments. For a change, in the present circumstance, the regional parties have to play the role of an alternative to the dominant party. Moreover the regional parties with their strong regional ties and organisation can now occupy the space vacated by the Congress in recent times.

While the success of a coalition of various regional parties may be disputed given the previous failures of these arrangements, a debate on that would be a misunderstanding of the present situation. The contemporary situation isn’t solely about power configurations rather the situation demands the reimagining of the federal impulses within the Indian polity. The strong organisation and dedicated regional bases of the regional parties will prevent the BJP becoming the dominant force similar to the Congress in the early decades of independence. Moreover any governmental policies of the Central Government will have to take these regional parties into consideration given the popularity and the success these parties have enjoyed against the BJP. Hence the regional parties have an important role to play in mediating the dominance of the BJP and the region specific demands which can safely be described as a path towards true federalism.

6113
By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 10, 2020 6:22:00 pm
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