oppn parties Index Of Opposition Unity After Maharashtra

News Snippets

  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
  • US secretary of state Mike Pompeo says China was "incredibly aggressive" at the LAC and India did its best to respond calmly
  • India reaches 700000 corona cases and 20000 deaths due to the disease
  • West Bengal plans to create a plasma bank for Covid patients
  • Chargesheet filed against arrested J&K police officer Devinder Singh and others. Singh accused of being a Pakistani informer
  • Very few people visit ASI monuments that were opened on Monday
  • Sensex gains 1500 points in four trading sessions in July
  • The Centre says final year university exams should be held in September and degrees should only be given on the basis of exams
  • Trade surplus for India in June for the first time in 18 years
  • Highway ministry increases the border roads upkeep fund by four times
After four months of standoff, including a bloody clash, India and China agree on pulling back troops at the LAC
oppn parties
Index Of Opposition Unity After Maharashtra

By A Special Correspondent

After the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in Maharashtra, political commentators have again started talking about how it has changed political equations and can form the basis of future alliances, even on a pan-India basis, against the BJP. This talk gained currency during the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar and even after the Bhua-Bhatija (SP-BSP) experiment in UP. The alacrity with which they come together is always much less than the acrimony with which they break-off with each other.

While there is a need for a strong opposition against the BJP, such alliances of convenience, as the one formed in Maharashtra, are not the answer. The coming together of parties that are not on the same page on most issues and fought the elections against each other but want to form the government just to spite the BJP is a marriage that results in divorce, sooner rather than later. Maybe the government in Maharashtra will last its full term but it is still not the way to beat the BJP.

The BJP can be beaten. It is not immune to anti-incumbency as was proved in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh. It got nearly beaten even in Narendra Modi's home state Gujarat. It does not have acceptance in many states as was proved in Punjab, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Orissa and West Bengal.

But such alliances of convenience are not the answer. The opposition has to first understand that the people vote differently in assembly and Lok Sabha elections. If they continue to gloat over the smaller picture, they will miss the larger one. The 2019 elections were held in the backdrop of several decisions by the NDA government that put people into a lot of hardships. Acche din, as promised by Modi in 2014, were nowhere to be seen five years later. The situation was pregnant with anti-incumbency.

Yet, the opposition allowed Modi to run away with a near landslide victory. What does this suggest? It suggests that despite scoring victories at the state level, most regional political parties and the Congress have failed to fire the imagination of the people when it comes to the nation as a whole. This is not to say that the BJP is unbeatable at the national level or that the Modi brand is all-pervading. The proof is provided in the percentage of votes the BJP gets on a pan-India basis which is much below 50%.

 What the opposition needs are not such alliances of convenience but a concerted effort, broken down to the seat level in each state. They have to ensure a one-to-one fight with the BJP by leaving each Lok Sabha seat to the party best placed to beat it. But their personal differences and the overriding wish of regional parties to protect their turfs will not make it happen. Further, it is doubtful whether the people would still accept it as Modi has made them become fearful of a khichdi government at the Centre.