NDA Members Frustrated With One-Man Show at Centre, All is Not Well in Alliance, Says Tharoor

New Delhi: Terming the NDA as ‘sinking ship’, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor pointed out how a growing frustration among NDA members with the “one-man show” at the Centre is leading them to abandon the alliance.

Tharoor said the BJP must realise that when even “your friends are unhappy with you, the rest of the country will be even more negative about your performance”.

“There is evidently a growing frustration among the members of the NDA, with the authoritarian one-man show that we have seen under the current government and the fact that some allies of the BJP are now beginning to desert the sinking ship is a telling sign that all is not well within the alliance,” he told PTI in an interview.

With Lok Sabha elections just months away, the BJP has lost two key allies — Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) walked out in March 2018, while Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) shifted loyalties to Opposition’s alliance in Bihar in December. There are murmurs of dissatisfaction coming from other camps like Uttar Pradesh’s Apna Dal (S) and Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP).

The UPA has always been an alliance of collective and deliberative leadership, where all voices are heard and all concerns accommodated, the MP from Thiruvananthpuram said while contrasting the coalition’s style of functioning with what he said was a “one man show” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

That United Progressive Alliance (UPA) successfully operated at the helm of Indian polity for a decade taking everyone along and it is certainly a characteristic that would make it an attractive alternative to the present ruling dispensation, he said.

Playing down the exit of the TDP and RLSP from the NDA last year, senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had earlier said those leaving for their “own political reasons” cannot be stopped and asserted that his party was not facing any pressure from allies ahead of the 2019 polls.

Asked about the reports of dissatisfaction among BJP’s alliance partners in Uttar Pradesh, Tharoor said: “It’s interesting that the UP allies of the BJP — Apna Dal and Rajbhar’s party — are openly putting pressure on the ruling party, while the Shiv Sena regularly attacks it, even in Parliament on the Rafale deal.”

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