Leaders of regional parties which appear to be in a position to stop the Hindutva rath in its tracks have started talking about coming together. But it is doubtful if they have a proper understanding of the current political scenario. Some of them are raising the old slogan of a “non-Congress, non-BJP government”. That suggests they are living in an era that has passed.
The idea of a non-Congress, non-BJP government arose when the Congress was declining and the Bharatiya Janata Party was growing, and small national and regional parties did not like the emergence of the BJP, which has a communal agenda, as the national alternative. In Harkishen Singh Surjeet, general secretary of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), which, as a Left party, had a progressive image, there was a leader who could bring the small parties together on a common platform. In Vishwanath Pratap Singh, there was an experienced leader with the stature to head a government at the Centre. That combination made the first non-Congress, non-BJP government possible.