oppn parties Rahul From Wayanad: BJP Amused, Left Furious

News Snippets

  • Imran Khan raises nuclear war bogey again, says if Pakistan loses a conventional war, it might fight till the end with its nuclear arsenal
  • Searching for Rajeev Kumar, ex-CP, Kolkata Police, the CBI approaches state DGP to know about his whereabouts
  • Ferry overturns in the river Godavari in Andhra. 46 feared dead
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas on Jammu & Kashmir today
  • Ghulam Nabi Azad moves Supreme Court for ordering the government to allow him to visit his family in J&K
  • GST Council meeting to focus on leakages and evasions, expected to tighten processes, especially regarding input tax credit
  • Finance minister, citing figures for July 2019, says that industrial production and fixed investment is showing signs of revival
  • Amit Shah's comment on Hindi as the unifying language draws the ire of MK Stalin and Siddaramaiah. Stalin says the country is India not Hindia
  • On Hindi Diwas today, Amit Shah says use of mother language must be increased but Hindi should be adopted as the common language of the country
  • Pakistan raises white flag on LoC to claim bodies of dead soldiers
  • India beat Bangladesh by 5 runs to lift the U-19 Asia Cup
  • A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will examine the amendments to the SC/ST act made after an apex court order that 'diluted' the provisions and which were reinstatd by the amendment
  • Delhi government decides to re-implement the odd-even system of traffic management from November 4 to 15
  • UP to discontinue law that allows the state government to pay the income tax dues of ministers
  • Anand Sharma of the Congress to replace P Chidambaram on the parliamentary committee on home affairs
Sunni Wakf Board and Nirvani Akhara write to the Supreme Court for a negotiated settlement to the Ayodhya dispute
oppn parties
Rahul From Wayanad: BJP Amused, Left Furious

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
Without alleging that Rahul Gandhi chose a second seat to contest the Lok Sabha polls as he was scared of a defeat in Amethi and even after accepting the Congress' explanation that it was chosen to reinforce the party's national footprint, the choice of Wayanad in Kerala is difficult to understand. In Wayanad, Rahul’s principal opponent will not be the BJP, the party he seeks to oust from the Centre. By choosing to fight the Left in Kerala, which itself is fighting for existence and had hoped to bring in decent numbers from Kerala, the Congress and Rahul Gandhi have further jeopardized opposition unity.

The biggest stumbling block in a united fight against the BJP seems to be the fact that many parties that vehemently oppose the BJP are also opposed to each other. Some of these, like the Congress and the Left, are strong opponents in several states while they talk of unity at the national level. Once Rahul’s candidature was announced, the CPM came down heavily on the Congress and vowed to defeat him. It is another matter for the state Congress to oppose the Left in Kerala. But Rahul candidature has upped the game and the Left naturally considers it as an act of 'war'. Does this sound good for opposition unity if there is a hung parliament? If the Left puts it across Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, will he be in any mood to talk about government formation with the Left? On the other hand, if Rahul’s presence in Kerala revitalizes party workers and results in losses for the Left, will they entertain Congress’ overtures after the polls?

Ideally, Rahul should have picked a seat in Karnataka. But since the coalition with the JD(S) in the state is not very strong and since the BJP has an equally strong presence in the state, perhaps a safe seat was not found. Whatever the reason for choosing Wayanad, the Congress has allowed both the BJP and the Left to go after it. The BJP will go to town in Amethi alleging that Rahul has run away as he was scared of defeat. The Left will allege in Wayanad that the Congress is not serious in fighting the BJP and has hence come to fight the Left. Further, despite the Congress winning the seat in 2009 and 2014, it is by no means a very safe seat for the party. Trust the Congress to always go for the worst-case scenario in any given situation.