New Delhi September 28th
Punjab and Maharashtra represent “manliness” and the BJP-led coalition has lost the “faces of that manliness”, the Akali Dal and Shiv Sena, says an editorial in the Saamana, the Sena mouthpiece. The article questions what the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is without the two parties
“Punjab and Maharashtra represent manliness and Akali Dal and Shiv Sena are the faces of that manliness,” the Saamana editorial said.
“Now some have said ‘Ram-Ram’ (an expression that loosely means goodbye) to this venture and so there is no Ram left in the NDA, which has lost two lions (Akali Dal and Sena),” it added.
The Akali Dal walked out of the NDA coalition on Saturday after a bitter fallout over the central; government’s controversial farm bills, which have provoked massive protests among farmers, mainly in states like Punjab and Haryana. “What is NDA, there was not a single meeting of the NDA over the past six years,” Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Badal told NDTV.
The Sena editorial said it was surprising that the NDA’s “last pillar” Akali Dal was not stopped from quitting the alliance.
“When the Badals left, no effort was made to stop them. Earlier, the Shiv Sena also left NDA. With these two parties out, what is left of the NDA? Those who are still there, do they have anything to do with Hindutva,” it asked.
“First, the Shiv Sena had to quit the NDA. Now the Akali Dal has left it. Does the NDA really exist after its two key pillars have walked out?”
The Akali Dal is the third major party to walk out of the NDA after the Shiv Sena and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) of Chandrababu Naidu.
The Shiv Sena ended its decades-old ties with the BJP after the two parties failed to agree on power-sharing in Maharashtra. The Sena tied up with rivals NCP of Sharad Pawar and the Congress.
The Sena said its coalition government was “doing a good job” and would complete its five-year term.
“The NDA was formed to give a strong alliance against the Congress at the national level. The alliance saw many ups and downs over the years and several other parties quit it as per their convenience,” said the Saamana editorial.
The country’s politics is being pushed towards a one-party system but the BJP has to forge alliances for elections in several states, the Sena said.