Ahead of the 2014 General Election several parties the Left, Janata Dal (United) and Janata Dal (Secular), Samajwadi Party and Biju Janata Dal promised to stand together and challenge the threat to "secularism". In the end these parties fought independently with little or no electoral pact whatsoever. The result, every one of them bit the dust. The Left parties took a massive hit. The CPM scored victory in nine of the 93 seats and CPI just one in 67 seats contested while the AIFB and RSP failed to open the account. For the Left, the fall was too steep.
Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party just about managed to hold on in the family pocket-borough weathering the storm that swept across UP in favour of the BJP with the party winning just 5 of the 78 seats it contested.
In Bihar, Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Prasad Yadav won four of the 27 seats and Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar-Sharad Yadav just two of the 38 seats it contested.
Similarly, the Janata Dal (Secular) of H D Deve Gowda won just two of the 26 seats it contested in Karnataka and Kerala.
Fall from grace: Devyani Khobragade was in the news again, for all the wrong reasons. The MEA put her on "compulsory waiting" for giving an unauthorised interview to the media
Overdue honour: Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee was chosen for the country's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna by the Modi government
Poor marks: The NCP of Sharad Pawar faced the ire of voters and other parties, including the BJP and Shiv Sena. It was fourth with 41 seats in the recent Maharashtra Assembly elections
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