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Assembly Election 2017: The BJP stands tall in UP, so why stoop to conquer in Goa and Manipur?

All the political tiddlers in the fray in these five states know on which side their bread is  buttered. So, what is so upsetting about them offering the BJP support in Manipur and Goa and hanging onto the BJP coattails? There's no problem if you go purely by the rulebook and not the spirit in which it is done.

 Assembly Election 2017: The BJP stands tall in UP, so why stoop to conquer in Goa and Manipur?

File photo of Manohar Parrikar. PTI

PC Chidambaram’s shrill howl of protest that the BJP is stealing the polls is rubbish. It is these guys who invented the walkover and the buy up and the other euphemisms for selling one’s soul.

Why would anyone, whether they belonging to the also-rans or the independents, not take full benefit of being pivotal in the formation of the government.

It makes total sense. The Congress's future is unsure, even bleak, even though it is the single largest seat winner in Manipur and Goa.

On the one side you have Caesar striding into Rome: Modi the master and emperor of all that he surveys ready to take India to a new frontier. On the other you have no one of any stature or competitive competence.

Not only are you deemed powerful for making up the much-needed numbers, but you have the runner up in the palm of your hands and can blackmail it into so many delicious decisions. The multitude of favours that could be granted to those that prop up one party perhaps makes them more of a force than the main bloc of the cobbled coalition.

This buddy-buddy stuff will encompass the giving of contracts, the positioning of friends and relatives in jobs, pork barrel agreements and beyond the ken arrangements of convenience to keep a BJP chief minister in his chair in Goa and Manipur.

So long as there is no rule that prevents the cute and fey and very clever political precedent of offering support (unconditional or otherwise) no foul, no harm. Well, one hopes no harm.

Of course it is technically unfair to lose the race and then turn it into a show of strength by horse-trading but it is not illegal. Unless Parliament or the Supreme Court can pass a bill banning coalitions per se and making such indecisive elections the equivalent of a hung jury in a trial and render the election null and void, this option is valid.

Perhaps one day when our democracy is far more mature there will be no alliances before or after the fact. There is good call for such a development because the democratic tenet of representing the wishes of the people is lost.

Not just lost, it is an insult. These are not the people or parties that won the public vote. For example, we have Mohan Parrikar rushing off in unceremonious haste to wear the CM’s crown in Goa and dumping his duties as defence minister as if it was of no consequence…this is the man who had promised to refurbish and reinvent and reinforce the services and upgrade the military procurements across the board.

That grand saga went soggy pretty damn fast.

And he has scarpered off to Goa to lead a team that did not win. It might be devilishly clever to have shepherded the minnows into your net but it is a pyrrhic victory and not worth abdicating your responsibilities as the defence minister.

The day these cardboard props want to drop you they can--so the BJP will always be a minority--frankly, they did not need to do this. Let the Congress mess about with these mixes. Then, when they crash-land after going for broke, the Modi magic will still be there.

This way, it is just not edifying for the BJP to stand so tall in UP and bend over and stoop to conquer in Goa and Manipur.

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Updated Date: Mar 13, 2017 16:26:49 IST