Source: The Hitavada      Date: 29 Mar 2018 11:43:06


Nakshatra Magha 8H 36M
Moon Simha (Rajandekar Panchang)
Paksha Chaitra Shukla Tithi Trayodashi 21H 20M
Shri Mahavir Jayanti
Muslim Rajab 11th Hijree 1439

TRINAMOOL Congress supremo and Chief Minister of West Bengal Ms. Mamata Banerjee appears to don a new role at national political level. For the last three days she has been meeting leaders of various non-BJP, non-Congress parties, exploring the possibility of a grand conglomeration to give strong fight to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the general elections due next year and also some of the states. Thus she is looking to cobble up ‘Federal Front’ with the exclusion of Congress, with disparate political elements spread all across the country. Those whom she has been contacting over the last few days are mostly regional entities whose relevance even in their own areas of operations is highly questionable and whose standing in public mind remains grossly eroded. On the other hand, among all the Opposition parties the Congress still remains the only party with national relevance.
Ms. Mamata Banerjee is trying to bring together elements that have departed from their parent organisations, like herself and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Mr. Sharad Pawar, to serve their own political interests which had no ideological basis. Similar is the case with most of the other regional political party leaders who are trying to a give a semblance of a fight to the resurgent BJP and it is this resurgence of the BJP that has the regional parties worried as their political stakes get shaken by the BJP upsurge in every nook and corner of the country.

But these disparate political elements seem to have read too much in the recent by-elections and Assembly elections. In the few reverses that the BJP suffered in these by-elections leaders like Ms. Mamata Banerjee see a window of opportunity to stop the galloping BJP horse in its tracks. But none of them singly or even collectively will be able to give even a semblance of a fight as their fight is bereft of any ideology. Their only mission is to defeat the party that has come before the electorate with its own ideology, its own ideas about the national economy, national security, inclusive growth and has in the last four years shown that it is willing to bring about drastic changes if they are necessary for the nation’s good.

All the leaders with whom Ms. Banerjee is seeking to forge a grand alliance have not risen above their own constricted vision of political power and have hence remained parochial in their approach even to national level politics. The nation indeed needs a strong Opposition to question the Government in power and make it answerable to the people. But these parties have no political wherewithal or universal public acceptance to pose any worthwhile challenge to BJP from its present status as the single largest national party. The only national party other than the BJP, Congress has lost much of its public acceptance nation-wide and appears to have lost relevance.
The overall Opposition scenario shows something very critical -- certain bereftness on ideological and organisational fronts. That most parties are only faking facades of their ideological firmness, is obvious from the fact that they are now trying to forge alliances that make little sense against the BJP whose ideological base is much firmer than those of all these outfits.

So blind have the leaders of these Opposition outfits become about their own ambitions that many a turf war has been seen among them. If the Trinamool Congress leader tries to protect her turf, the Congress has its own game for the same. In the process, whatever may happen to their respective turfs, solid walls have got built between them stopping them from forming strong front. Obviously, against the very strong BJP, such tenuous alliances do not seem to have much future. Any effort to forge alternatives is more likely to be untenable than anything.