In the fifth segment of the series State of the Parties, we look at the sundry parties that could join either the centrist UPA or rightist NDA – or a possible Third Front. These are smaller outfits with influence enough to impact the results in respective states, but not big enough to leave a national footprint.
The smaller parties will make a difference in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, (western) Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir, and the Northeast.
There are about twenty such small parties.
The current Lok Sabha has 39 parties and the next one might have close to 40 as well.
The next General Election will broadly depend on how the south votes.
Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are the swing states.
What happens there will directly impact the UPA and the NDA.
From the other states, only two parties seem certain in their choice – the Shiv Sena for the NDA and the RJD for the UPA.
Everyone else is flexible.
The Northeast parties tend to back the party or coalition in power. They could do so in 2014 as well.
Together, all these parties are The Bandwagon – they will be dictated principally by self-interest and partially by where they stand on religious politics.