The Major power houses at the centre are Congress and BJP. Unfortunately their power domain has been steadily decreasing while regional powers gain at their expense. As a result it has been a very very long time since any individual party has surpassed the magic number to form its own government. Coalition governments has been the mantra for an irritatingly long time. Thus the formation of UPA coalition of Congress and NDA of the BJP is seen. Coalition gave rise to politics of adjustments and compromises, where even the smallest fraction of the coalition could hold the government to ransom over petty personal issues. The thought that coalition would bring moderation and result in better welfare/administration has been dashed long ago.
Regional parties are many and I can confidently say its definitely more than the states of both US and Canada. Every state has at least 2-3 regional parties who align themselves at the centre either with the BJP or Congress.
Left and their allies have formed the third front and hopes to present an alternative to Congress, BJP lead governments at the Centre. Their alliance partners are so colorful and myriad which includes Tamil Nadu's amma, andhra pradesh's Mr. Naidu, NavinPatnaik's BJD from Orrisa, Deve Gowda JD from Karnataka and some more. I am not sure whether BSP supremo Mayawati will stay after polls.
For many of these parties, its still Castes, sects, reservations, concessions, religion, freebies, goodies that dominate their manifesto. Development and socio-economic upliftment, judicial and defense forces modernization is hardly an issue. Leave alone these issues, for a starter just check how many young candidates are given tickets by parties. Its all oldies and oldies. How can Indian public remain mute over this when there is always demand for fresh young blood to be given chance in cricket? For instance, Congress poster boy Rahul doesnt seem to reflect the party in Kerala where hardly any ticket has been issued to the youths.
- Every party in India lambasts BJP as non secular. Why ? Congress, SP, RJD always play the majority-minority card but still gets tagged as secular. Why? There is hardly any party that cares for any religion or region.
- BJP accuses Congress over the anti-Sikh riots of '83 while its own hands are not clean in Gujarat.
- I find the Left as the most corrosive party as they in the name of secularness admonish every religion. I find it infuriating when Kerala Left leaders visit Sabarimala on Jan14th and stand in front of all devotees denying them darshan and nonetheless say they have come to check security arrangements.
- which believes in separation of State & Religion
- believes in conducting community meet programmes unlike people like Govinda
- declares his aim, vision and leader before polls
- which believes in true socio-economic upliftment and refrains from giving away color tvs, rice-wheat or resrvation soaps.
- shuns political horse trading and dilution of its principles just to come in power and wont enter into post poll alliances (Its not right for voters as this dynamic action doesnt have the blessings or say of the common public)