oppn parties Rahul From Wayanad: BJP Amused, Left Furious

News Snippets

  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
  • CBI raids offices of Amnesty International across India
  • Supreme Court quashes NCLAT order against Arcelor Mittal and paves the way for the company to take over ailing Essar Steel
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says concerns of telcos will be addressed and no company will close down
  • Government thinking of providing higher insurance coverage on bank deposits
  • Mayank Agarwal scores a double century as India take firm grip on the first Test versus Bangladesh
  • Supreme Court warns Rahul Gandhi to be more careful in future but drops contempt proceedings in the "chor" case
  • In a flip-flop, Vodafone CEO says sorry to the government, sys no plan to exit India
Supreme Court dismisses plea for review in Rafale case, says no need for roving inquiry, maintains clean chit to government
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.