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Cracks start appearing in NDA

May 18, 2009 08:39 IST

After Bharatiya Janata Party's electoral defeat, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) seems to be on the verge of collapse with its only victorious constituent  -- the Janata Dal (United)  -- appearing to be distancing itself from forming the Opposition.

Top sources in the JD(U) said that despite the NDA's good show in Bihar, where Nitish Kumar is leading JD(U)-BJP government, the party is apparently in a mood to review its electoral adjustments with the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, who is also the convener of the NDA, has not visited or even spoken to L K Advani, the BJP's prime ministerial choice, ever since the BJP received a drubbing in the elections. Party sources said the last time the two met in Ludhiana, Punjab, at the NDA's lone election rally in the state.

Yadav said "though the JD(U) has done well in Bihar, the party's failure in other states was a cause of worry for him". Before convening the meeting of the NDA, he said he would have to look into the causes of defeat of his own party.

"First, we have to look at our own affairs and NDA meeting would follow," he said. Riding on the development wave generated by Nitish Kumar's work, the JD(U)-BJP combine have swept the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar by bagging 32 seats. However, the JD(U) had felt that the BJP had given it a raw deal in seat-sharing in all the three states.

Yadav said that one of the reasons for the BJP's defeat was the party raising the issue about Narendra Modi as its next prime ministerial candidate in the middle of the elections. "Such a talk should have been nipped in the bud as we did it when Nitish Kumar's name was being propped up," he said. "It only helps to create confusion."

The JD(U) leaders had also declined to sign a BJP-proposed "NDA agenda for governance" and the NDA did not hold a single meeting on common strategy in the run-up to the general elections.

Besides, JD(U), the only NDA constituent that is happy with the poll outcome is the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) led by Ajit Singh, which has won five of the seven seats it had contested from western Uttar Pradesh in an pre-poll arrangement with the BJP.

However, the BJP did not gain from the alliance as its tally in UP remained unchanged at 10 seats.

The performance of Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab, where it managed to win just 4 Lok Sabha seats, was the most dismal. Besides, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in Assam was just reduced to one seat, while the Telengana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) won only two. The BJP had pinned its hopes of making substantial gains in these three states.

The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) led by O P Chautala in Haryana, did not even win a single seat. A section of the BJP was opposed to return of INLD into the NDA fold and had opted for Bhajan Lal-led Janhit Party, which has managed to win one seat.

The Shiv Sena faired poorly in Maharashtra with just winning 11 seats.

However, the entry of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJMM), a small regional group from West Bengal into the NDA fold, had helped BJP's senior leader Jaswant Singh win from Darjeeling.



Aasha Khosa in New Delhi