Credibility big test for new Indian political front.
Newly announced plans to float a secular party in India, with the support of six regional heavyweight organisations, led by senior leaders, seem to be trending across India's political firmament. The union has come with one clear agenda: To topple Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from their perch in New Delhi.
The parties coming together for their grand mission are Janata Dal (Secular) of former prime minister Deve Gowda, Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Indian National Lok Dal of Om Prakash Chautala, Samajwadi Janata Party of industrialist Kamal Morarka, Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav and Janata Dal (United) of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
While the party's ideology, name, flag, symbol, constituency and strategy are yet to be announced, it will be prudent to remember that such alliances have rarely stood the test of time. Merging six parties and their leaders into one entity will come with its set of unique problems -- the main one being unity among contrasting personalities, even if their secular goal seems to be a judicious strategy to counter the rise of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism).
The true test of this new entity's credibility will be illustrated when it tries to gain credibility among voters who, as the numbers would suggest, seem to be backing economic well-being instead of religion. On the face of it, this amalgamation is sound only in terms of arithmetic instead of substance. It also adds credence to the contention that politics makes strange bedfellows.
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