TVR Shenoy writing in the Rediff offers a profound insight in this observation
The BJP, as matters stand today, does not have a single ally left in the states on the eastern seaboard.
BJP has few or no chances of winning seats in a contiguous line of states running from West Bengal to Kerala.
Take a look now at the states on the Arabian Sea. Gujarat and Karnataka actually have BJP governments, and it is a major party in Maharashtra and in Goa. Barring Kerala, the BJP has a good chance of winning several seats, a situation that is diametrically opposite from that on the eastern side.
While the centerpiece of Mr. Shenoy’s lament is the BJP’s eastern coastline vaccum which he describes as a sad commentary on our democracy, he makes only a passing reference to a more profound geo-shift that needs to be appreciated.
The Trinamool Congress is allied with the Congress. The Telugu Desam, the AIDMK, and the Biju Janata Dal are now allied with the CPI-M, possibly as part of a resurrected Third Front.
So if the Congress suffers the pendulum of incumbency in both directions across the east coast we could see for the first time a contiguous string of states from West Bengal to Kerala along the eastern coastline in which the CPI-Mafioso is either in power, a partner in power or has a stake in power through the back door.
Back in 2007-2008 while the farce over the Nuclear Deal was playing out Offstumped has speculated on the calculation behind Prakash Karat’s obduracy to take the CPI-Mafioso’s reach beyond its traditional strongholds of Bengal and Kerala.
It can perhaps be concluded that Project Karat was all along about an eastern sea-board strategy that gives the Communists a stake in Governance and a say in the kind of Development along the East Coast states.
With Orissa being the last and only bastion of resistance one must ask the question
If the violence over aggressive Evangelical activity in Orissa was Maoist inspired and a key element of Project Karat ?
If the assassination of VHP Leader Swami Lakshmananda was the tipping point for it was bound to provoke a violent reaction ?
The geo-strategic implications of this East-West coastal faultline must not be under-estimated for the China loving CPI-Mafioso could be serving more than one interest with its eastern sea-board strategy of acquiring a political stake in all Bay of Bengal States leading up to Kerala.
This apparent rise of the 3rd front along the east coast must be seen as less about regionalism and more about National Security and Strategic Interests with a China friendly Communist party acquiring a strategic stake in Governance allowing it to influence the quality and pace of Development along the East Coast
Two questions arise the BJP must answer beyond the 2009 election season in the face of diminishing political space along the eastern sea board
#1 Why has the BJP been more succesful along the Western Coast and Heartland than along the Eastern Coast ?
#2 How will it counter the CPI-Mafioso’s attempt at ressurection through an eastern sea-board strategy that may end up serving China’s geo-political interests ?