Thursday, August 16, 2018 06:00 PM

KCR's Federal Front: Will It Be A Myth Or Reality?

KCR is intensifies efforts to stitch together a national coalition of regional parties which is popularly described as federal front.  These parties are not consistent on their opposition to the Congress and BJP? Most of these parties were formed as part of governments led by either the Congress or BJP. Even today, the Janata Dal (S) is not averse to joining either of the two national parties based on who would offer HD Kumaraswamy the chief minister's seat. The DMK is still part of the Congress-led UPA and even the TMC and SP are not opposed to joining hands with Congress.

All the regional parties and the smaller parties put together hardly account for half of the seats in the Lok Sabha. With some minor changes, this picture is unlikely to change even in 2019. It may not be possible to form a national coalition government post-2019 without the support or leadership of either of the national parties.

These regional parties have internecine differences due to inter-regional disputes.  JD(S) and DMK cannot agree on sharing Cauvery waters. Similarly, the TRS and TDP do not have a common position on a host of issues confronting the two Telugu states. The CPM that could be one of a credible non-Congress and non-BJP platform cannot join hands with the TMC. The Biju Janata Dal that rules Odisha and the TDP disagree on the Polavaram project

KCR states that the federal front is not just stitching together a few political parties with a view to coming to power. But, he calls it an attempt to bring about a radical change in the lives of people through alternative policies and programmes. But, none of these governments led by regional parties have displayed any radically different policy dispensation in their own states. The social and economic policies of these regional parties are in no way different that of the national parties.

Any party that wishes to rule the nation should have a perspective on the issues confronting the nation and the world whether one agrees or disagrees with such a perspective. But, regional parties have a tendency to stay aloof from national concerns. They often respond only to issues confronting their respective states.

There are too many prime ministerial aspirants within the regional political spectrum. Mamata, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Deve Gowda, and even Chandrababu Naidu and now KCR would love to compete for the top political post a .

The state-specific political reality does not always present a contest between a national party and a regional party. States like Tamil Naidu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, etc primarily have contests between two regional parties only. Only one of them can join such a proposed federal front. Thus, such a front fails to represent entire regional aspirations. The DMK and AIADMK cannot be part of any single national coalition. Similarly, the TDP and the YSR Congress cannot be part of same national coalition.

New regional players are entering the political fray making the regional political spectrum much more fragmented. The formation of new parties led by Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, and the birth of the Telangana Jana Samithi, the Jana Sena etc are a few such illustrations which make an all inclusive regional front exercise much more complex.




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