Monthly Archives: November 2011

Regional Parties and their clout on National Political Scene. How to tackle them??

After the fall of PV Narasimha Rao Govt. at the centre, the era of coalition Govts started. Thus marking the beginning of political instability at the centre. After 1996 General Elections, Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed a coalition Govt. which lasted for a mere 13 days as he failed to garner the required numbers to reach majority. Between 1996 and 1998 two coalition Govts of the Third Front didn’t last long. After which, the Lok Sabha was dissolved and fresh elections were called in 1998, which again put BJP in the lead. BJP stitched an alliance with regional parties under the banner NDA. But AIADMK, a regional outfit from Tamil Nadu withdrew support to the 13 month old NDA Govt. and the Govt. could not gather majority and Lok Sabha was dissolved. And Vajpayee continued as PM, but a care taker PM. In the General elections of 1999, NDA headed by BJP won a whopping 303 seats out of 543 seats and ruled for full term. BJP managed to control its allies. After the 2004 General Elections, Congress being the single largest party formed the Govt. under the banner UPA. Many regional parties such as DMK, NCP, PDP were part of it. Regional parties continue to influence the policy making of the Government and also give a sense of political instability.

How to overcome this??

The Election Commission of India should formulate strict rules and regulations as to give any political party a National Party status. The party should have a broader national agenda. Parties like BSP, NCP, SP, JDU though don’t have any regional agenda as such, they don’t have a pan-India presence. They are confined to only few pockets which is enough for not accepting them as National Parties. And parties like DMK-AIADMK of Tamil Nadu, TDP of Andhra Pradesh, TMC of West Bengal, INLD of Haryana, JDS of Karnataka-Kerala, JKNC and PDP of Jammu and Kashmir and so on are confined to only those states. Also, these Regional Parties should not be given important portfolios and also should not be given Cabinet Ministerial berths as they can’t think on a broader national consensus. Best example is Mamata Banerjee’s tenure as Union Railway Minister. She acted as if she was the Railway Minister for Poschim Banga (West Bengal) and MoS Railways for Congress-UPA states, thus leaving Opposition ruled states orphaned. And, DMK heading Telecom Ministry took the Telecom sector to ransom. The ever growing clout of these regional parties is a threat to pan India growth. Also regional parties tend to influence policy making to suit their regional agenda. This trend has to go or else India will be pushed to a Third World Country status.
The Constitution should be amended for making it compulsory for anyone willing to be a Union Cabinet minister to be elected on a National party’s ticket and also regional parties should be given only Minister Of State(MoS) posts or may be no posts. Also they should be given MoS only if they account to 50% of the total LS seats in their respective states. Also the Number of MoSs to be given should be not more than 15% of their total strength in Lok Sabha.
This could lead to political stability.

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