Unprincipled Political Alliance in India’s 2024 Election – A Matter of Concern

Political parties forming an alliance to contest the election is an obnoxious practice in the Indian political scene, as it has the impact of undoing the electoral democracy objectives

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Political rally in India [File Photo]

There are around eight political parties in India that are supposed to be operating at the national level. However, out of these, only two parties can be considered as real national parties with a presence in all states.

Apart from these parties, there are 55 state parties and around 2597 unrecognized parties. Most of these state and unrecognized parties are either family-controlled parties with a dynastic succession pattern, caste-based parties, or based on a narrow chauvinistic approach. Many of these unrecognized parties operate at the district level and not even at the state level.

Most of these state and unrecognized parties do not have particular or definite policies or programs regarding industrial and economic subjects at the micro level, and their policies are very flexible.

However, since these state and unrecognized parties have a substantial vote share in their particular regions, national parties have been forced to woo these parties in their game plan to win elections in 2024.

As a result of such a chaotic political scenario in India, almost all political parties seek to contest in the forthcoming 2024 elections by forming alliances with other like-minded or unlike-minded parties in different states, instead of contesting on their own. In such a scenario, there is no particular political, economic, or social basis for forging an alliance between these political parties, but only the self-interest of these parties to win as many seats as possible.

For the forthcoming 2024 election, 28 political parties, including national and state parties, attempted to form an alliance at the national level to defeat the present party ruling the Government of India. These parties have nothing in common except the objective of defeating Prime Minister Modi in the 2024 election. As there are no binding principles in forming this alliance, this alliance group has already disintegrated for all practical purposes due to a conflict of interest. This so-called alliance now appears to be collapsing like a pack of cards. Possibly, in the coming days, this so-called “mega alliance” will become several split alliances based on the self-interest of the individual parties and the assessment of the permutation and combination possibility by each party, which would become the basis for the choice of parties for alliance.

The real losers in the politically chaotic scenario in India today are the people (voters) who are confused in deciding which party they should vote for, since in each constituency, the alliance group would put up a front candidate of one of the parties in the alliance to contest. This would force voters to face a dilemma in exercising their franchise, as in a particular constituency, a particular voter may not like the party that is contesting but may like the other party which is part of the alliance with the party actually contesting.

While such practices have been going on for several earlier elections in India, this chaotic political scenario of a group of parties forming an alliance to contest with no principles or policies backing the alliance has now reached what appears to be an unacceptable level in India’s so-called vibrant democratic society.

As the 2024 election is only two months away, it is now seen that each one of the political parties is talking to several other parties at the same time to choose which party they should align with. It has now become a matter of speculation as to which party would go into which alliance, as only self-interests of the parties are the deciding factors with no priority for policies. Whichever alliance they would form would be an unprincipled political alliance.

To check this rotten condition, the question is, who can bell the cat?

Is it possible for the Election Commission or the Supreme Court to lay down a rule that forming an alliance between political parties to contest the election is impermissible?

The Election Commission or the Supreme Court would be right in clamping such a rule, as the alliance between the political parties to contest the election has the effect of misleading the voters and subjecting them to a sort of “political harassment” by forcing the voters to vote for a party that they may not like. This virtually amounts to an infringement on the voting rights of the people as per their choice and makes the election process farcical.

Political parties forming an alliance to contest the election is an obnoxious practice in the Indian political scene, as it has the impact of undoing the electoral democracy objectives.

N.S.Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause and to promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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