Will SAD’s exit give entry to YRCP?
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) from Punjab had finally walked out of the BJP-led NDA at the Centre. Though the BJP does not require any support, given its strength in Parliament, the top leadership of the party wants some smaller or regional parties to sail with it in the larger interests of the party. That is the reason why the BJP is continuing the NDA and there are more than a dozen parties in it without even single representation in Parliament.
The Shiromani Akali Dal currently has two MPs in Lok Sabha and three MPs in Rajya Sabha, not much of political significance. However, the party had been with NDA for several years and its decision to end the alliance had come with the BJP moving three bills in Parliament that have adverse impact on the country’s farming community. The party had first quit the Union Cabinet and then walked out of the alliance.
As already said, the exit of the SAD will not have any adverse impact on the BJP or the NDA. But, it gives an impact that the BJP is not carrying other parties along with it, which is a potential negative impact creator. Whether the SAD would align with the Congress or not is a different issue. But the exit of an ally would strengthen the Opposition’s voice and it is not good for the leadership in facing the criticism.
Given these political implications, the BJP leadership is looking towards the YSR Congress from Andhra Pradesh, which is placed better in both the Houses of Parliament. The YSR Congress has 22 MPs in Lok Sabha and six MPs in Rajya Sabha, and the numbers keep the party in advantage position.
In fact, the BJP is already banking on the YSR Congress in Rajya Sabha, where the NDA falls short of the numbers. The YSR Congress too is continuing its friendly relations with the BJP and had supported the farmers’ bills in the Parliament.
It was one of the reasons why Jaganmohan Reddy was called to Delhi and had two rounds of meetings with Union Home Minister Amit Shah this week. Sources close to the YSR Congress say that the party was offered three cabinet berths. However, it is said that Jaganmohan Reddy is not in a hurry for a tie-up with the BJP at this stage. He has his own agenda which was said to be placed before the Union Home Minister for consideration. If the BJP is ready to accept what Jaganmohan Reddy is asking for, then the entry of the YSR Congress into the NDA would only be a formality!