Is the dominance of regional parties hindering India’s emergence as a global superpower? This is one of the most important questions that one must ask because the small regional parties have a (potentially dangerous) control over government policies. The regional parties emerged in the political arena because national parties failed to satisfy the needs and requirements of the people belonging to different states. These local parties claim that they have a better understanding of what the voters want, in contrast to the lumbering national parties.
However, when these small regional parties aspire to become national parties, they begin to pose a potential threat to our nation. Their emergence does reflect the good health of the Indian democracy but when they stall a national policy for the sake of their ‘narrow’ agendas – they become a danger to the same democracy.
In last two decades, regional parties have paralyzed the central government and we have witnessed numerous elections due to political instability. In this era of coalition government, it has become very tough for the government to carry through various foreign, economic and social policies due to hindrances caused by the regional parties. These regional parties have deviated from their path and the reason behind their emergence now seems unclear. When it comes to central government, these regional parties have no clear ideology and they can even collaborate with their sworn enemies for the sake of their personal interests. As the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) faces the floor test on July 22, we are witnessing the number game being played between the government and the opposition.
Both the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) headed by two major national parties – the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – respectively, are trying to woo the Members of Parliament (MPs) to include them in their camp. With the game evenly poised; these regional parties with three to four numbers members are having a gala time and are looking for the best ‘deal’. The Congress and the BJP are also leaving no stone unturned to attract the maximum number of MPs.
The independent MPs are demanding high price for their vote and AB Bardhan from Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPIM) has quoted that price to be Rs 25 crores. Imagine! One vote can make you richer by 25 crore rupees! So who cares about the ideology, policy or whatever as long as my pocket is getting heavier! There are 25 members in the Parliament who are yet undecided – and presumably looking for some bigger offers.
Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) has three MPs and he has been offered a ministry in the government. Congress has also decided to rename the Lucknow Airport after his father Chaudhary Charan Singh’s. The Left has also explained to him its stand and urged him to vote against the government. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Chandrasekhara Rao has decided to vote against the government because the UPA had failed to pass a resolution giving a commitment on the issue of forming a separate Telengana. The regional issue has overtaken the national issue. Samajwadi Party (P) has decided to support UPA (it once described the Congress as its worst enemy) in order to save itself from Mayawati. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren is asking for cabinet berth in return for his party’s support. There will be some MP’s who may go against the party whip on the date of voting.
Thus, we get the picture that in the process of saving or toppling the government, regional parties are not paying any attention towards the concerned issues. There is an open market where MPs are being bought for some cash, cabinet berth, personal favours etc. I know there is no space for conscience in politics.
This sort of politics is totally unacceptable. Instead of thinking collectively towards the betterment of the nation, regional and national parties are indulging in selfish games. Power without responsibility is a dangerous thing and I think regional parties and formations must realize this. The regional parties need to be more accountable and thoughtful. They should be ready to compromise on the national issues or should be barred from the Central politics. The immaturity and irresponsibility of regional parties makes them act as impediments to India’s development.