Maharashtra politics has been making headlines since last few years. It all started when the Shiv Sena broke its alliance with their old partner BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) in 2019 and went with their arch rivals Congress and NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) to form government in Maharashtra.
But all hell broke loose a year ago when Eknath Shinde and a large group of MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly) quit Shiv Sena and joined forces with the BJP to overthrow Uddhav Thackeray’s government. Shinde became the new CM (Chief Minister) of Maharashtra.
The politics of the state took another major turn last week when NCP’s senior leader Ajit Pawar and few other MLAs joined the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra and became the new Deputy Chief Minister of the state.
It is obvious that such twists and turns give rise to plenty of hilarious memes on social media. In fact, that’s a no brainer in today’s times. There have been various memes on parties changing their alliances as if changing clothes. One such meme that got my attention says that the only thing remaining now is for the BJP to form an alliance with the Congress. Anyone with even an iota of knowledge about Indian politics would know that the two parties can’t see eye to eye.
But as strange as it may sound, there was once a time when the BJP had formed an alliance with the Congress and this is not a joke. During the 2009 Sikkim legislative elections, the two parties had formed an alliance. And this wasn’t a post-result alliance in order to grab power after the results are declared. The BJP and Congress actually formed a pre-poll coalition and fought the elections together.
The regional Sikkim Democratic Front (SKM) was just unbeatable in the state. The party had won the previous three state elections in 1994, 1999 and 2004 and it looked like they will repeat the performance. Hence, in order to ensure that the SKM doesn’t come into power again, the BJP and Congress joined hands to ensure defeat of SKM by forming a United Democratic Front (UDF). The UDF also contained a few smaller parties but its big players were the BJP and Congress (Read more about this HERE and HERE).
Funnily, the BJP and Congress’ alliance suffered a heavy defeat in the election as the SKM once again triumphed. In fact, the party won all 32 seats in the state and the alliance between the two arch rivals went waste. The SKM is still in power with their latest victory being in the 2019 state elections.
Somehow, this coalition between the BJP and Congress is mostly forgotten. This is largely because Sikkim is a small state in the north east of India, which doesn’t get prominence in the media and in overall discussions. Strangely, online articles about the coalition of the two parties are also reduced now as compared to a few years ago.
Interestingly, the 2009 general or Lok Sabha elections were held simultaneously with the 2009 state elections. While the two warring parties formed an alliance in the former, they, obviously, fought as enemies in the latter.
P.S: Last year in Meghalaya, Congress became a part of the same alliance as BJP. But it wasn’t a pre-poll coalition where they fought the election together. After the results of the elections were declared, all Congress MLAs joined the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, of which BJP is also a part.