The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which ruled India for six years (1998-2004) was left almost an empty camp Sunday as the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) became the 14th party to leave the grouping.
The JD-U, the second largest party in the NDA with 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha, was an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 1996 -- two years before the NDA was formed.
Besides BJP, the NDA now only has Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal as major parties. It also has the Haryana Janhit Congress, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party in Goa, the National People's Party in Meghalaya and Nagaland People's Front (NPF) as local allies. Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Andhra Pradesh has expressed support to NDA, but not forged a formal alliance.
Most of NDA's constituent parties joined the alliance after BJP emerged the strongest party after the 1998 general elections, and then again after the 1999 polls.
"When it was in power, the NDA at a time had as many as 23 alliance partners, but the number is a bit of exaggeration as many of them were single-member parties, and parties which came as part of alliance with some other party," senior political analyst G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told IANS.
Some of the parties to have left the NDA earlier are:
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) - A significant partner of the NDA, the Odisha-based party left the alliance just over a month before the 2009 elections.
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) - In alliance with BJP in Jharkhand, the JMM withdrew from the alliance in 2012. Along with it, All Jharkhand Students Union also left the alliance.
Jammu and Kashmir National Conference - Withdrew from the NDA in 2002, blaming the BJP for its loss in the state elections. Omar Abdullah, son of former state chief minister Farooq Abdullah, served as a minister of state for external affairs. It is now part of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance.
Lok Janshakti Party (LJP)- The Ram Vilas Paswan-led party withdrew following the 2002 Gujarat riots. Paswan had served as the cabinet-level Communications, and later, Coal Minister. The party was later part of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-I government.
AIADMK - J. Jayalalithaa's withdrawal of support from the first NDA government in 1999 led to its collapse. The AIADMK again joined the NDA before the 2004 general elections, but did not remain aligned after NDA's defeat in 2004.
DMK - The DMK joined the NDA after AIADMK left. DMK, MDMK and PMK left NDA in 2002.
Indian Federal Democratic Party - Its leader, P.C. Thomas, was a minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and the only MP in the alliance from Kerala. Following the 2004 election, he merged his party with the Kerala Congress, which is aligned with the Left.
All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) - The Mamata Banerjee-led party was part of NDA from 1998 to 2007. It joined the Congress party-led UPA before the 2009 elections.
Indian National Lok Dal - Left NDA due to seat-sharing disagreements during Haryana assembly elections 2009.
Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) - The Ajit Singh-led party is now allied with the Congress-led UPA.
Besides, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had extended support to NDA, but did not become part of the alliance formally.