India's coalition mathematics

As their power wanes, the main parties are increasingly reliant on their smaller allies.

    India's main parties may lose out to a coalition of smaller regional parties [EPA]

    As the influence of India's two national parties - the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - wanes, the balance of power is swinging in favour of smaller regional or caste-based groups.

    Special report
    The coalitions led by the Congress and the BJP have lost crucial allies, who are going it alone in the election. These parties hope to maximise their leverage after the polls.

    Last time around, the Congress and the BJP won 145 and 138 seats respectively in the 543-seater Lok Sabha or lower house of parliament.

    The following are some of the changes seen in state coalitions for the two parties.

    Uttar Pradesh (80 seats) - Setbacks for the BJP and Congress:

    This state is the biggest single source of seats in parliament. Congress failed to reach a seat-sharing agreement with regional parties.

    The BJP has tied up with a smaller group, but this is unlikely to give it any substantial advantage.

    The main contest here would be between the regional Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party.

    Andhra Pradesh (42 seats) - Setback for Congress and BJP:

    The advent of a new regional party, Praja Rajyam, floated by a popular film star, could take votes away from Congress.

    The BJP has no ally in the state.

    Tamil Nadu (39 seats) - Setback for Congress and BJP:

    Congress ally the PMK drops its support.

    The BJP is also without any major ally here.

    Orissa (21 seats) - Setback for BJP:

    One of the BJP's long-standing partners, the Biju Janata Dal which is strong in this eastern state, snapped ties.

    The Congress does not have any allies here.

    Bihar (40 seats) - Setback for Congress:

    Congress failed to reach a seat-sharing deal with allies RJD and LJP.

    The BJP has managed to keep its alliance with the ruling Janata Dal (United) intact.

    West Bengal (42 seats) - Boost for Congress:

    The Congress emerged stronger with a seat-sharing arrangement with the regional Trinamool Congress to challenge communist rule.

    The BJP is virtually non-existent in the eastern state.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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