Indian National Congress (INC) & Allies (UPA)

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THE GRAND OLD PARTY OF INDIA

1885 Formed by a group of Indian and British nationals

Left of Centre INC’s political stand

Local self-government was initial aim; later evolved into demand for full-fledged independence

48 Number of INC Members of Parliament facing criminal charges

United Progressive Alliance (UPA) The current government – an INC-lead coalition of 12 political parties

Rahul Gandhi  is the face of the INC’s campaign but has not been announced as Prime Ministerial candidate

5 scams in the last 10 years is UPA’s track record

2004 The year UPA was formed; no party had won an absolute majority. INC and several others came together to make up the requisite number of seats

POLITICAL POLICIES AND IDEOLOGIES
* ERSTWHILE SOCIALIST PARTY; CURRENTLY MORE SUPPORTIVE OF FREE MARKET AND CAPITALIST IDEOLOGIES
* BACKS THE GANDHIAN PRINCIPAL OF SARVODAYA – UPLIFTMENT OF ALL SECTIONS OF THE SOCIETY
* NONALIGNMENT FOREIGN POLICY: NOT ALIGNED WITH OR AGAINST ANY MAJOR POWER BLOC
* IDENTIFIES ITSELF AS POPULIST, SECULAR, LIBERAL AND PROGRESSIVE

THE UPA
• INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS
• NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY
• RASHTRIYA LOKDAL
• NATIONAL CONFERENCE
• INDIAN UNION MUSLIM LEAGUE
• KERALA CONGRESS (MANI GROUP)
• SIKKIM DEMOCRATIC FRONT
• ALL INDIAN UNITED DEMOCRATIC FRONT
• JHARKHAND MUKTI MORCHA OUTSIDE SUPPORT:
• SAMAJWADI PARTY
• BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY
• RASHTRIYA JANATA DAL

YI OPINION
Let’s be honest; the INC has had a less than favourable run in the last five years. The number of scams the current UPA government has against its name, especially those that surfaced during its current term, is enough a deterrent for voters. Besides, pay attention to their promises: they are all general and empty.  The UPA likes to reiterate that it passed Lokpal and the RTI, and its campaign is all about defending its track record and its history that is intertwined with this country’s. We’d like to reiterate that the right to information as well as government accountability are meant to be a given in a democracy. If one needs to pass laws to ensure they are provided to the people, then that government is obviously not doing a satisfactory job.

CONTROVERSIES IN THE LAST DECADE
Rs. MP BRIBE SCAM
Rs. COMMONWEALTH GAMES SCAM
Rs. ADARSH HOUSING SCAM
Rs. 2G SPECTRUM SCAM
Rs. COAL BLOCK ALLOCATION SCAM

ELECTION MANIFESTO
The party has not yet released its manifesto and Is taking suggestions from the public on the website http://www.incmanifesto.in/. The following are excerpts from the party’s document titled Our Vision for 2014:
• “We commit to ensure the elimination of hunger and malnutrition in India by the year 2020.”
• “We are taking broadband internet to every Panchayat in India in order to connect and empower every Indian.”
• “We will take measures such as the creation of help lines with a standard number ‘181’ in all major towns and cities for prompt grievance redressal for women, exclusive transport facilities, and gender sensitivity classes for policemen and policewomen particularly in registering and investigating complaints made by women.”
• “We will create 10 million jobs every year and impart skills training to youth to take up these jobs.”
• “We commit to increase the agricultural growth rate to over 4% and ensure disseminating the fruits of agricultural research.”
• “It is of utmost importance that when senior Party leaders recommend particular candidates they must own responsibility in case of failure. Nepotism in the organisation’s structure is a cause of great concern and there is a need to arrest this tendency firmly.”
• “We are working towards a timely and effective implementation of the Aapka Paisa Aapke Haath initiative, which will ensure that benefits reach the people directly, on time and at their doorstep, while eliminating corruption and leakages.”

BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY (BJP) & ALLIES (NDA)

THE STAUNCH RIGHT-WING OPPOSITION PARTY

1980 year of formation of current state. It was originally the Bharatiya Jana Sangh in 1951

Right wing BJP’s political stand

Hindu nationalist organisation that aims to protect India’s Hindu cultural identity

46 Number of BJP Members of Parliament facing criminal chrages

Narendra Modi
has been named as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate

8 scams in the last 10 years is NDA’s track record

National Democratic Alliance (NDA) The BJP-led alliance that currently consists of 21 political parties

1998
The year NDA came into effect to form a coalition government since no party had absolute majority in the Lok Sabha

POLITICAL POLICIES AND IDEOLOGIES

* CONTINUES TO VOCALLY SUPPORT RIGHT-WING POLICIES ALTHOUGH NONE WERE IMPLEMENTED WHILE THE NDA GOVERNMENT WAS IN POWER.
* FOLLOWS THE PRINCIPLE OF INTEGRAL HUMANISM AS DEFINED BY DEENDAYAL UPADHYAYA IN 1965.
* CORE IDEOLOGIES INCLUDE HINDU NATIONALISM (HINDUTVA) AND SOCIAL CONSERVATISM.

THE NDA
• BHARATIYA JANATA PARTY
• SHIV SENA
• SHIROMANI AKALI DAL
• NAGA PEOPLE’S FRONT
• GORKHA JANMUKTI MORCHA
• HARYANA JANHIT CONGRESS
• REPUBLICAN PARTY OF INDIA (ATHVALE)
• MAHARASHTRAWADI GOMANTAK PARTY
• NATIONAL PEOPLE’S PARTY (INDIA)
• SWABHIMANI PAKSHA
• RASHTRIYA SAMAJ PAKSHA
• MARUMALARCHI DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM
• KONGUNADU MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM
• INDHIYA JANANAYAGA KATCHI
• RASHTRIYA LOK SAMATA PARTY
• LOK JANSHAKTI PARTY
• DESIYA MURPOKKU DRAVIDA KAZHAGAM
• ALL INDIA N.R. CONGRESS
• KERALA CONGRESS (NATIONALIST)
• REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST PARTY (BOLSHEVIK)
• TELUGU DESAM PARTY

YI OPINION
The BJP has always proclaimed a pro-Hindu stance as opposed to choosing secularism which is evident through its Hindutva campaign. Although they have proclaimed the campaign to have purely cultural origins, their comments concerning the criticism of Muslims and the demand for a Ram temple to be built at Ayodhya clearly state their religious alignment. They have often been equated to be the political wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The scams that have surfaced against the former NDA government speak volumes. They continue to highlight progress made by party-led state governments but on the other hand, their Prime Ministerial Narendra Modi has been accused of inciting genocide as the Chief Minister of Gujarat.

CONTROVERSIES IN THE LAST DECADE

Rs. TEHELKA.COM SCAM
Rs. UTI BANK SCAM
Rs. MINING SCAM IN SOUTHERN STATES
Rs. ITDC HOTEL SCAM
Rs. BALCO SCAM
Rs. GUJARAT COOPERATIVE BANK SCAM
Rs. CENTAUR HOTEL SCAM
Rs. CYBERTRON TECHNOPOLIS SCAM

ELECTION MANIFESTO
The party has not released its official election manifesto and is welcoming suggestions from the public at ht t p: //bjpelectionmanifesto.com.Since Narendra Modi is the party’s Prime Ministerial candidate, they have released a statement titled Modi’s 8 Point Development Model for India. Here is an outline of the policies:
• Improvement of education and job opportunities for youth by establishing IITs, IIMs and AIIMS in all states.
• Children and women’s empowerment through the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Programme and provision for equal opportunities for women.
• Development of infrastructure by providing housing for poor, 24×7 electricity on demand, river interlinking projects, establishing of 100 smart cities, railway reforms including bullet trains, etc.
• Inflation control through price stabilisation fund and special courts for black marketers.
• Agriculture reforms including national agriculture market, advanced irrigation technology, etc.
• Health care reforms including preventive health care and ambulance on call services.
• Strengthening of the federal structure with balance development of all states and a particular focus on eastern states.
• Anti- corruption measures through new laws to control and redistribute black money for social welfare and addition of toll free helpline to track corruption.

AAM AADMI PARTY (AAP)

2012 – The AAP was founded out of the need to cleanse politics in the country

300 The number of seats AAP will contest

Centre-left AAP’s political stand

THE REVOLUTION-SEEKING PARTY

Arvind Kejriwal
The likely Prime Ministerial candidate for AAP

ELECTION MANIFESTO
AAP has not released an official manifesto. The AAP too has asked for suggestions from the public. The following are based on their document Our Dream Political Revolution.
• Stringent legislation against corruption called Jan Lokpal; the common man can file a direct complaint against corrupt leaders and officers and get justice.
• Fast track courts will be constituted and the CBI will be made an independent body and those guilty of corruption will be jailed within six months.
• Close down all private schools and hospitals and upgrade the government run ones to world standards.
• Zero tolerance towards attempts to spread poison toward any religion.
• Stop the practice of forced land acquisition from farmers.
• Farmers will get the sum of all their inputs plus a profit of 50% on produce of each crop.
• Public participation in determining prices of commodities during price rise.
• Jobs provided on impartial and transparent basis.

POLITICAL POLICIES AND IDEOLOGIES

* POLITICS HAS TO CONNECT WITH SOCIAL SERVICE AND NATIONAL PRIDE
* THE GANDHIAN CONCEPT OF SWARAJ IS ONE OF MAIN PRINCIPLES OF THE PARTY.
* AAP REFUSES TO SUBMIT TO A LEFTIST OR A RIGHTIST IDEOLOGY AS THEY ARE SOLUTION FOCUSED AS OPPOSED TO IDEOLOGY DRIVEN.

YI OPINION
The Aam Aadmi Party is a respite from the INC and BJP. Its claims to put an end to corruption and black money, improve education and many more have garnered a number of supporters. Some of these claims might see the light the day; after all AAP did offer 700 litres of free water to households in Delhi after just three days in power. It is however hard to believe the tall claims of a party that has no experience in governance and that has been criticised for its anarchist stand on varied issues. Its website talks of the ‘revolution’ it wishes to bring if elected. However, since its language is poor, it is hard to take any of it seriously.

OTHER PARTIES

ALL INDIA TRINAMOOL CONGRESS (TMC)

* Withdrew support from the UPA after no-agreement on issues related to FDI, prices of diesel and subsidising gas cylinders for households.
* Sixth largest party in the Lok Sabha with a total of 19 seats
* The party subscribes to a centre-left position and populism, socialism and secularism are the ideologies on which the party stands.
* The party is free from an alliance with the INC and the BJP and stated that it will contest all 42 of the seats in West Bengal under the leadership of Mamta Banerjee.

 

COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)

* The party emerged after a split with Communist Party of India.
* The party plans to employ candidates in some 60-odd constituencies spread over 15 states and 3 Union Territories.
* One of its biggest controversies was the peasant uprising in Naxalbari in West Bengal lead by party members Charu Majumdar and Kanu Sanyal.

 

YSR CONGRESS PARTY

* The YSR Congress Party was formed after fallout Jaganmohan Reddy and founder Siva Kumar had with the INC.
* The party was formed in 2009 and has a total strength of 17 out of 295 seats in the Legislative State Assembly and 2 out of 545 seats in the Lok Sabha.

 

ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM (AIADMK)

* Current ruling party in Tamil Nadu.
* Centrist in their political stand, AIADMK is also part of the Third front in the Indian polity.

 

 

 

 

JANTA DAL UNITED (JDU)

* The Janta Dal United was formed with the merger of the Sharad Yadav party of the Janta Dal, The Lokshakti Party and the Samta Party in 2003.
* With prominence with Bihar and Jharkhand, the JD(U) is the fifth largest party with 20 seats in the Lok Sabha.
* The faction ended their 17 year old alliance with the NDA after its elevation of Narendra Modi as campaign chairman.

MAHARASHTRA NAVNIRMAN SENA (MNS)

* The MNS is a strong Marathi nationalist party that was formed by Raj Thackery after a rift caused with the current Shiv Sena leader Udhav Thackery.
* Known for its infamous attacks against north Indians, ironically, the party claims to have a secularist ideology.
* The Shiv Sena, which is in alliance with the BJP, is the biggest competitor of the MNS in Maharashtra state.
* As an independent electoral party, the MNS will go head to head with the NCP-Congress alliance and the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.

THE THIRD FRONT

• COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)
• COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA
• REVOLUTIONARY SOCIALIST PARTY (INDIA)
• ALL INDIA FORWARD BLOC
• SAMAJWADI PARTY
• JANATA DAL (UNITED)
• JANATA DAL (SECULAR)
• JHARKHAND VIKAS MORCHA
• BIJU JANATA DAL
• ASOM GANA PARISHAD
• TELANGANA RASHTRA SAMITHI
• INDIAN NATIONAL LOK DAL
• HARYANA JANHIT CONGRESS
• BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY
• MARUMALARCHI DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM
• PATTALI MAKKAL KATCHI
• TELUGU DESAM PARTY
• ALL INDIA ANNA DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM

YI OPINION

Formed after rifts and opposing views with India’s first and second front, i.e. the INC and the BPJ, the above mentioned parties will be contesting the 2014 elections independently. The third front however is an alternative to INC or BJP governance.
Although immensely popular in their respective states, frankly, it will be quite difficult for one of these parties to win at the national level.
The third front, on the other hand, might be just what this country needs after a disastrous 10-year run on the part of the Congress and communal and staunch right-wing stand of the BJP. The chances of third front coming to power might not be the best as they have still not come to a unanimous decision about their ideologies.

 

Volume 3 Issue 10

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