oppn parties The BJP Crushes The Opposition By Any & All Means

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  • Supreme Court stays Karnataka HC order blocking operations of Kannada news channel Power TV. Says right to free speech must be "zealously protected" by courts
  • Opposition slams Centre for Samvidhan Hatya Diwas, says the Constitution is being murdered on daily basis under the present BJP government
  • Centre notifies June 25 as 'Samvidhan Hatya Diwas'. This was the date on which Indira Gandhi imposed the Emergency in 1975
  • Bengal moves SC against state governor for keeping 8 bills pending
  • Mamata Banerjee meets Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai, says 'khela on' and promises to campaign for his party in the Maharashtra assembly elections
  • Stars and eminent persons from across the globe attend the wedding of Anant Ambani with Radhika Merchant at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai
  • Controversial IAS trainee Puja Khedkar faces dismissal from service if her quato and disability claims are found false
  • SC says stay on bail should be in rare cases like terrorism or where order is perverse otherwise personal liberty and Article 21 will go for a toss
  • Supreme Court says judicial review of arrests by ED is necessary to check improper exrecise of power to arrest
  • Supreme Court grants interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal in the money laundering case in Delhi liquor policy case but he will remain in jail as he is under CBI detention in the corruption case in the same scam
  • Retail inflation rises to 5.1% in June, the highest in 4 months
  • Government to avoid merger of BSNL-MTNL. Instead, MTNL's operations will be shifted to BSNL to give the latter an all-India presence
  • Women's U-19 Asia Cup: India to clash with Pakistan on July 19
  • Paris Olympics badminton draws: P V Sindhu in easy group but gets a tough draw later while H S Prannoy and Lakshya Sen might clash in pre-quarter finals
  • After two consecutive wins, India look to seal series when they meet Zimbabwe in the 4th T20 today
Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman presenting her 7th straight budget in Parliament today
oppn parties
The BJP Crushes The Opposition By Any & All Means

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2024-02-14 08:41:22

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.

What is being witnessed in Indian politics now, just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections due in less than three months, is a battering of the opposition in two ways - the first way is by snaring leaders from other parties and the other is the step by step breakdown of the I.N.D.I.A alliance that never really took proper shape. In both these ways, the ruling BJP is the prominent player and the Congress is the major loser although some leaders who have left the Congress or other parties have preferred not joining the BJP. For instance, Congress stalwart Milind Deora in Maharashtra took the circuitous route by joining BJP-ally Shiv Sena (Shinde) and Congress MLA Baba Siddique joined the NCP. In Maharashtra, the Shiv Sena and the NCP have already split and one faction of both has allied with the BJP for the spoils of office. A couple of days ago, one of the tallest state leaders of the Congress, former chief minister Ashok Chavan who is also the son of a former chief minister and wields considerable clout in the Nanded region of the state, resigned from the party only to join the BJP a day later. There is a buzz that a former Congress chief minister from MP will soon change sides.

Elsewhere, in Bihar, the original architect of opposition unity, Nitish Kumar changed sides once again and formed the government after joining the NDA. Jayant Choudhary of the Rashtriya Lok Dal, swayed by the Bharat Ratna awarded to his late grandfather and former Prime Minister Choudhary Charan Singh, dumped I.N.D.I.A and joined NDA. His party also wields clout in at least 7/8 seats in western UP. There are reports that Shiromani Akali Dal and AIADMK are also considering returning to the NDA fold. With this, the BJP has managed to weaken the Congress and ensured that the I.N.D.I.A alliance is a non-starter. The opposition parties, mainly the Congress, are also to blame for this state of affairs. Instead of sitting at the negotiating table to iron out seat-sharing differences or deputing senior leaders to take it up and coming up with an alternative vision, Rahul Gandhi is busy with his Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. He had got it wrong with Rafale in 2019 and he is committing a blunder this time too. His indifference has meant that both the TMC and AAP have refused to have truck with the Congress in states where they rule. Mamata Banerjee has already, snidely, predicted that the Congress will not even get 40 LS seats this time.

But the major part of the blame for the state of the opposition lies with the BJP. Using saam, daam dand and bhed (any and all means), the BJP has been able to make some leading opposition leaders to switch to its party and some political parties switch to the NDA. Although this might bring electoral gains for the party in the short-run, the long term damage to Indian democracy will be disastrous. All democratic jcountries need a strong and effective opposition to keep a check on the ruling dispensation. Sadly, the opposition in India right now is neither strong nor effective.