Tough going for regional satraps

Amid growing trends towards polarisation, regional satraps will find it difficult to check national parties like the Congress and the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

While the Congress and the BJP are building up their campaign on the issues of secularism, nationalism, garibi hatao and governance, the regional players are divided in different fronts, may find it difficult to attract a section of the people disillusioned by the UPA and the NDA.
The BJP appears to be going ahead systematically with a strategy of consolidating Hindus while the Congress is playing the secular card to ensure support of the minorities.
Champions in the Mandir-Masjid agitation — Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar — cannot stop the BJP at the national level on their own. They and the Left will have to ally with the Congress after the elections.
On the other hand, the anti-Congress regional parties like the Biju Janata Dal, the INLD and the TDP could take a line different from the SP, JD(U), RJD, LJP and the Left.
But the role of the BSP, the Trinamul Congress, the AIADMK, the DMK and the Janata Dal(S) will be interesting in the post-poll situation. In fact, they could emerge as “king-makers”, sources predicted.
According to them, appeal of regional parties has always been confining to regional issues and castes. Moreover, they do not view the BJP as “untouchable” politically if one goes by the history.
Barring the Samajwadi Party and the RJD, rest of the regional parties, including the BSP, JD(U), JD(S), Trinamul Congress, DMK, AIADMK, TDP, INLD, AGP, Jammu and Kashmir National Conference and LJP had the history of sharing power with the BJP directly or indirectly.
Earlier, the Congress was relying on the youth card but Mr Narendra Modi’s elevation as the BJP’s election campaign committee chief, could compel it to modify the election strategy.

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