In a significant development, the Samajwadi Party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Lok Jan Shakti Party have decided to come together in a secular alliance to fight the Lok Sabha elections. They have forged the alliance, realising that they cannot afford to cut into one another’s voter base. After all, unity is strength. The alliance will surely make a significant impact in the northern States.

B.H. Shanmukhappa,



It is obvious that the SP, the RJD and the LJP have decided to come together on a common platform with a view to striking a better bargain from a vantage point after the election. A coalition government remains a bourse for horse-trading. It serves the politicians, not the people. Only if the voters decide to vote for one of the two major national parties will the regional parties wither away. Parliamentary democracy is best served by a two-party system.

J.N. Bhartiya,



The grouping of political parties under two major alliances seems to be coming to an end. The formation of the SP-RJD-LJP front within the UPA and the exit of the Biju Janata Dal from the NDA show that both the alliances have become weaker. With the emergence of the Third Front — a collection of anti-Congress and anti-BJP parties rather than a front — the road to power for all three coalitions looks tough.

Md. Farijuddin Khan,



The UPA no longer seems to be in existence as the RJD, the SP, the LJP and the PMK have isolated the Congress, its major constituent. The battle between the Congress and the BJP to become the single-largest party will be close. Once the results are out, the regional combinations will decide with which formation to go. The common man should understand that the political realignment we are witnessing now is not based on any ideology. It is the result of a lack of confidence among the parties to retain power.

N.V. Subramania Iyer,



The pre-election political discourse has diverted the national focus away from people’s issues by concentrating mainly on the menace of communalism. It would seem that communalism is the only malaise afflicting our body politic. Will a secular government by itself guarantee the economic emancipation of the poor? When will we hear our politicians talking about a secular, anti-poverty government?

K. Vijayakumar,