The stronger the BJP as a party in national politics, the weaker the NDA. After Narendra Modi became Prime Minister, JDU left NDA after PDP, Shiv Sena, and Shiromani Akali Dal. The major parties left as partners are the ADMK in Tamil Nadu, the disgruntled Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde in Maharashtra, and the Apna Dal (Sonelal) in Uttar Pradesh. According to many in politics, there is no problem now that the BJP is winning across the country.
But if the party is weak, there will be no one to add numbers to the BJP in the question of power capture. Counter-argument by BJP leaders is that as the party is in a position to form the government alone, partner dependence has naturally decreased.
In the Atal Bihari era, partner parties were given more importance, but it is alleged that the disparagement of partner parties began after the Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power on its own. NDA has become weaker and weaker due to not getting important ministries in the ministerial meeting, passing unilateral laws ignoring the objections of partner parties, and not giving enough importance to partners. In 2018, Mehbooba Mufti’s party left the NDA after deciding to unilaterally sever ties with the PDP in Kashmir. Later, the relationship between the two camps was severed due to bitterness with the Shiv Sena over the formation of the government in Maharashtra.
BJP leader’s statement
On the other hand, the Akalis left the government against the controversial agriculture bill. And Nitish Kumar left the NDA on August 9 on the charge that the BJP is trying to break the JDU in Bihar in the style of Maharashtra. BJP leader Sushil Modi, however, said, “We have 17 years of relationship with Nitish Ji. Why should we go to break the partner party? BJP could not have formed the government in Bihar even if JDU was broken. Because BJP does not have that number! Remember, BJP does not deceive anyone.”
After 2019, smaller parties also left the NDA. In the past three years, Gorkha Janamukti Morcha in West Bengal, Goa Forward Party, and Rashtriya Loktantrik Party in Rajasthan have left the NDA. In Assam in 2021, without the help of the Assam Constituent Assembly, the BJP’s capture of the state was virtually impossible. But the allegation is that even after winning, Himanta Biswa Sharma-led BJP has been consistently weakening the AGP in the state.
Nitish Kumar’s stance
According to many in politics, the present BJP leaders have forgotten the respect that is needed to retain alliance partners. In Nitish’s words, “The NDA that was in Vajpayee’s era had a relationship of mutual respect and love. The convener was George Fernandez. With an emphasis on alliance partners, it used to be heard. And now the BJP has pulled in the person whom we sent as Union minister.”
According to political observers, the BJP as a party was relatively weak during the Vajpayee era. Vajpayee and Advani needed the support of partners to retain the government.