oppn parties Opposition Unity Going For A Toss

News Snippets

  • Gangster Ravi Pujari, who had jumped bail in Senegal, held in South Africa by Senegalese police in a joint operation with RAW and Mangaluru police
  • GSI says gold deposits in Sonabhadra in UP more likely to be around 160 kgs and not 3000 tonnes as erroneously estimated by a mining officer
  • Sitting SC judge, Justice Arun Mishra, calls PM Modi a "visionary" and a "versatile genius"
  • Supreme Court denies any relief to the Nirbhaya convict who claimed he was mentally unstable
  • AAP and BJP engage in a war of words after the government leaves out Kejriwal and Sisodia from US First Lady Melania Trump's visit to a Delhi school to see a happiness class in operation
  • US officials say President Donald Trump likely to raise the issue of religious freedom during his visit to India
  • India accuses China of 'deliberately delaying' permission for a flight to evacuate stranded Indians in Wuhan
  • Income Tax department informed the Madras High Court that nearly 8700 have claimed huge tax deductions for "sales promotion expenses" and "gifts" in a case that against unethical marketing
  • Amulya Leona Noronha, the teen who was arrested for shouting "Pakistan Zindabad" at a rally in Bengaluru, was remanded to 14-day judicial custody
  • PM Modi asks the Ayodhya temple trust to ensure that the temple is built without bitterness in society and peacefully
  • US President Donald Trump says he will talk business with PM Modi during his visit to India this weekend as India is hitting the US "very hard"
  • After meeting PM Modi for the first time as Maharashtra CM, Uddhav Thackeray says the state will implement both CAA and NPR and no one has anything to fear from the two
  • Indian eves beat holders Australia in the opening match of the Women's T20 World Cup. Poonam Yadav spun the Australians out after India posted a below-par score
  • Mediators tell the protestors in Shaheen Bagh that the Supreme Court will listen to them more keenly if they remove the roadblock and move to an alternate site
  • No headway by mediators in the Shaheen Bagh imbroglio. Protestors say adjoining roads are running fine.
Former principal secretary to PM Modi, Nripendra Mishra, appointed to head the temple committee of the Ram Janambhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust
oppn parties
Opposition Unity Going For A Toss

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2019-01-25 06:20:59

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Despite good intentions and the right sound bites, is opposition unity once again going to be a case of so near yet so far? If we take into account the recent posturing of the Congress and the TDP, it seems that the Kolkata rally for mahagathbandhan was just a platform to spew venom on the NDA regime in general and Narendra Modi in particular. For, not even a week after the rally, both the Congress and the TDP have announced that they will have no truck with each other in Andhra Pradesh. The Congress has inducted Priyanka Gandhi in the party and has also announced that it will not align with Mamata Banerjee’s TMC in West Bengal. The SP-BSP combine had already said that apart from Rae Bareilly and Amethi, it will leave no seats for the Congress in UP.

Hence, it is clear that each opposition party has its own understanding of the situation and each of them is trying to protect its own turfs, especially in the case of regional parties. That is why Mamata Banerjee, sure of winning at least 40 to 41 of the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, will not have Congress as an ally. That is why Chandrababu Naidu considers Congress a liability in Andhra given the public anger against the party for having initiated the bifurcation of the state. That is why the SP-BSP combine thinks that the Congress does not matter in UP and it is best to avoid being seen on the same page with it. Despite the extreme desire of kicking out Modi, none of the opposition parties are willing to cede even an inch to the Congress.

It is against this backdrop that one thinks that the non-BJP, non-Congress front suggested by K Chandrasekhar Rao, or KCR as he is popularly known, would have been a better idea. In the bigger states, except for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and to some extent Gujarat and Karnataka, the Congress is nowhere in the picture. A mahagathbandhan of regional parties would have easily scored more than the Congress and then, driven by the desire of a Modi-mukt Bharat, the Congress would have climbed down from making Rahul the PM and would have supported the alliance from outside.

But now the Congress has changed its strategy and buoyed by its recent wins in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, thinks that Rahul – and Priyanka – can ensure that it can get more seats than a loose post-poll alliance of regional parties. It is hoping that in such an event, it can still press for Rahul to be made PM. But the numbers – both for seats and vote share – are against the party. In the best possible scenario for the opposition, the BJP might go down to 200, the Congress can achieve 100 and the regional parties 242 seats. In that case, the Congress will not have much bargaining power if the regional parties unite and select their own PM candidate. Hence, the best way to beat the BJP and have Rahul as the PM is to have a mahagathbandhan of all parties, but that seems a remote possibility now.