Just a year before completion of UPA’s second innings, its second largest ally DMK decided to pull out of the ruling alliance over the issue of alleged genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. After the exit of Trinamool Congress in September last year and DMK’s recent move, the dependency of the Congress-led UPA government on outside supporters, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, has significantly increased. It is really difficult to decipher what price the outside supporters would ask for supporting the UPA government, but DMK’s decision to pull out of the government over a regional issue, while the party generally distancing away from such sort of matter, has once again highlighted the anomalies of coalition politics. DMK’s opportunistic stand has once again brought to light the fact how political parties misuse the support of masses. Regional parties, which are supporting the UPA establishment at the Centre, have once again created troubles for the Congress which is leading the ruling alliance. Persecution of Tamils in Sri Lanka must be condemned but one should not forget the fact that LTTE had waged a civil war in that country demanding a separate homeland nation for Tamils. It is also believed that despite all sorts of bans, the erstwhile Lankan terror outfit LTTE, which was annihilated in 2010, had enjoyed political support in Tamil Nadu. Sri Lankan government mercilessly crushed the LTTE during which a slew of cases of human rights violation also surfaced. Such cases have invited a lot of criticism from world community. The resolution recently adopted at UNHRC, which was backed by US, has sought an impartial probe into the allegations of violation of human rights. The resolution was backed by 25 nations including India even though, DMK is not contented. It is still pressing for more stringent action against Sri Lanka.

Right to call the shots on India’s diplomatic ties with Sri Lanka lies only with the Centre. Actually, the shape of a country’s diplomatic relations should be decided on the basis of its national interests. It is unbecoming of a regional party to pressurize the Centre over the issues concerning to the foreign policy. DMK’s act on Sri Lanka Tamil issue is nothing but blackmailing. There are ample reasons to believe that DMK tried to regain its lost ground by projecting itself as the greatest champion of Tamils’ cause. Relation between the Congress and the DMK had turned bitter after the arrest of DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi and former Telecom Minister A Raja in 2G scam case.

UPA faced similar pressure from Trinamool Congress and DMK in its second innings as it had witnessed the same from Left Parties in its first tenure. Even the Prime Minister too publically talked about the compulsions of coalition politics, but none cared to understand the need to frame certain norms for such kind of politics. Even main Opposition party, BJP, too had conceded to the genuine and non-genuine demands of its allies on numerous occasions, but neither the Congress nor the BJP agreed to come forward for framing certain rules and regulations to check pressure tactics of the regional politics in the coalition era. Despite being aware of rising influence of regional parties and its declining political influence, both the top national parties, Congress and BJP, prefer to exploit the coalition politics to their advantage. On the other hand, regional parties are of the view that if the coalition politics is constrained under certain rules and regulations, they would lose a big opportunity to apply pressure tactics on Centre. When there is a groundswell that coalition politics is adversely affecting the country and is impeding growth of the country as well as proposed progressive changes, it is really surprising  that neither the national parties nor are the regional parties agreed to remove the anomalies of this politics.

It is expected from the regional parties which are part of the UPA government that their political gains should not take precedence over national interests. Autocratic behaviour of regional parties has proved big stumbling block in the functioning of the Centre.  The Central government even finds it tough to implement its ambitious schemes due to audacity of the regional parties. Today, India has reached the crucial juncture where it pertinent to bring in economic and social reforms as well as transforming the course of politics. In a country of such a vast diversity, it is palpable that evolving consensus over any subject is not an easy task. However it is equally important to fulfill regional aspirations, but it should not be at the cost of national interest.  Congress leadership is to some extent responsible for the problems being faced by the nation, but it is also a fact that the functioning of regional parties has also potentially worsened the situation.

It is unlikely that any single political party would be able to form a government at the Center on its own in the coming general elections. Given this situation, it has become more pertinent to frame some norms for the alliance politics. Constitution makers might not have imagined about the present day’s political scenario, therefore, they did not incorporate any norm in the Constitution to dispel the political instability in case of fractured mandate. Now it is required to make mandatory for the political parties to enter into pre-poll alliance. Post-poll alliance is nothing but opportunist alliance to enjoy power only. Such alliance is an insult to public mandate. Therefore it is highly required to ban such political association. If a firm move in this direction is taken, it will definitely change the course of Indian politics. If the parties, which join slugfest during elections, overlook people’s will and join hands to enjoy power, it will be nothing but a deception with citizens. For instance, SP and BSP had opposed the Congress in the last election but not they are supporting it at the Centre. After all what sort of politics it is? The problem will undoubtedly intensify if the present trend of politics remains persistent that will badly hit the global image of the country.    

(An original copy of the article published in Hindi on March 24, 2013 translated by the English editorial. The author is Group Editor of Dainik Jagran.)