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Congress-TDP Praja Kutumi in Telangana proved that votes of alliance partners with contradicting vote banks don't add up
Two rivals emerging from different roots and ideologies uniting just for the sake of opposition to a particular party or alliance, never succeed in electoral politics.

Post five Assembly elections in the run up to 2019 general election most non-BJP and non-NDA parties are uniting to contest against the current ruling NDA led by Narendra Modi. The defeat of the BJP in three Hindi heartland states has further encouraged opposition parties to unite under one umbrella and giving a fight to the BJP at state level. Apart from the Congress there are regional satraps who believe that their alliance will arithmetically add their vote banks.

In my article 'SP-BSP Gathbandhan in UP is no guarantee that their vote banks will add up' published in this platform on 13th November, I have exclusively explained that just allying to oppose the BJP without chemistry is not going to benefit.  The same has been proved now in Telangana Assembly election. One could go through that article to get an understanding. However I am explaining very briefly the crux of that article.

The gathbandhan concept came when RJD-JD(U) alliance along with the Congress (who is a minor player there) defeated the BJP in Bihar in 2015. Thus, everybody believed that such gathbandhans can add up vote shares. Everyone forgot that both the JD(U) and the RJD are rooted to same family of Janata Parivar, thus vote share of both is complimentary and thus added up. The same concept is followed in West Bengal where CPI(M) and the Congress allied to defeat Mamata-led TMC in Assembly election of 2016. The idea was that the 2014 Parliamentary election vote share of the Congress and Left front is adding up to 39.29% (9.58+29.71) which is more than TMC's vote share of 39.05%. But because Congress and CPM are rival to each other, their roots and ideologies are different thus there couldn't be a chemistry between the conflicting vote banks, the alliance suffered a severe setback getting just 32.05% a less of around 7.24%. There also Congress benefitted increasing its vote share from 9.58 to 12.25% whereas CPM lost around 10.2% vote share. Factually CPM lost vote shares majorly gone to the dominant or possible winning party TMC who raised its vote share from 39.05 to 44.9%. This proved that in case of alliance between conflicting vote banks, the large share of lost votes goes to the possible winner.

Now let us take Telangana which is another proof of my logic. TDP was formed on anti-Congress philosophy. They were rivals in undivided Andhra Pradesh. In Telangana assembly they made an alliance in the name Praja-Kutumi (a Telugu version of mahagathbandhan) with the logic that their vote share of 2014 will be add up. Congress and TDP had a vote share of 25.2% and 14.7% in 2014 which add up to 39.9% which is more than TRS' 2014 vote share of 34.3%. That's why many political observers too thought that this alliance will win Telangana and could be basis of mahagthbandhan in upcoming 2019. But as earlier happened in West Bengal, here the conflicting vote banks didn't get chemistry right and thus suffered severely ending up with 31.9% votes that is less than 8% of 2014 vote share. Interestingly here too Congress benefitted raising its vote share from 25.2% to 28.4% whereas TDP reduced to 3.5% vote share from 14.7% vote share of 2014. Like West Bengal the lost vote share of conflicting vote bank alliance gone to possible winner which is TRS in Telangana whose vote share rose from 34.3% to 46.9%.

Now N Chandrababu Naidu must be re-thinking about such a gathbandhan in Andhra Pardesh because of presence of another dominant party YSRCP which has almost same vote share in 2014 assembly election. TDP had 44.9% votes whereas YSRCP had 44.6% vote share. There's another angle also in these Telugu speaking states on bifurcation of the state. In Telangana, TDP is being seen as villain who vociferously opposed formation of Teangana. Thus people rejected Congress because it's allied with the enemy of the state. Now in Seemandhra the situation is just contrary. Congress is seen as villain for Seemandhra who bifurcated the united Andhra Pradesh. Thus there's every chance that people of Andhra will reject TDP and support YSRCP!

In the above states BJP is not a force thus will not be benefitted because of such alliance of contradicting root and philosophy. But as I said in my earlier article that BJP is a dominant party in Uttar Pradesh.  SP and BSP alliance is also a contradicting root and philosophy. SP formed from anti-Congress philosophy but mostly backed by OBC community. BSP formed its party purely backing on SC vote bank taken out from Congress but against OBC dominated SP. Just imagine will it not repeat the Bengal and Telangana in UP benefitting BJP? Let me give another example of conflicting vote bank alliance. In last UP assembly election SP and Congress made an alliance although both root are different. SP is from Janata Parivar that was formed on anti-Congress base. Thus when they united, BJP got benefitted whereas BSP couldn't get benefit because BJP was the dominating party.

Thus it's always easy to have post poll alliance citing secularism etc but a pre-poll alliance with conflicting vote bank always beneficial to BJP. For that matter if TRS and YSRCP win against the Congress alliance do you think they will support Congress at the Centre?

Thus, the anti-BJP opposition must be careful before making in pre-poll alliance. That's my only suggestion.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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