problem party

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jul 2018 12:24:42

THE news from the Opposition front is certainly unwelcome for the Congress which is emerging fast as a problem rather than a solution. In Uttar Pradesh, two major parties -- the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Samajwadi Party (SP) have entered a pre-poll agreement without Congress as their strategy for the ensuing Lok Sabha election less than a year from now. The BSP has made it clear that it has nothing to do with Congress, and the SP could “accommodate” the problem party in its own quota of seats. In West Bengal, cracks have developed in the Left Front led by Communist Party of India -M because other constituents are opposed to the growing affinity of the CPI-M towards Congress. The CPI-M allies do not appreciate Congress party’s participation in the proposed joint front of all parties. In Andhra Pradesh, leaders from the Telugu Desam Party have already rejected the idea of Congress President Mr. Rahul Gandhi as the prime ministerial candidate. Obviously, every problem in the proposed joint front seems to be stemming from the Congress party. This is most likely to act as a millstone around Opposition’s neck. 

By the time the elections draw closer, the Opposition parties will somehow cobble a joint front, but that will not be without problems. This situation will certainly serve the Bharatiya Janata Party well because of obvious reasons. More the cracks in Opposition unity, the better it will be for the BJP. The real troublesome issue -- among others -- is the dynastic angle to Congress party. The rise of Mr. Rahul Gandhi as the Congress President without appropriate attributes rankles most Opposition parties. They feel that such a leader -- with no substance of his own -- cannot lead the Opposition joint front effectively and may act as a negative force to pull down the Opposition edifice. Another angle to this issue stems from the ambition of many other leaders to become the country’s Prime Minister. With so many aspirants to one post, and with the Congress acting as an obstacle, Opposition unity appears headed for disaster.

Thus, from all directions, only one news is coming -- that the Opposition parties are not at all charmed by the Congress, and want the party out or isolated. For, most parties feel that Mr. Rahul Gandhi will act more as an obstacle rather than a facilitation as the Opposition’s unique selling point (USP). With so many parties having different views on one party and one person, then that is slated to be a cause of split rather than unity. This problem got highlighted by Nationalist Congress Party leader Mr. Sharad Pawar when he said that a pre-poll alliance of Opposition party is not possible and every thing would be decided after examining performance of all parties in the election.

Obviously, the BJP offers a sharp and welcome contrast to what is happening in the Opposition camp. United, the BJP stands tall and strong; divided, the proposed Opposition front is facing a collapse before it is formed. Despite this, however, all the Opposition parties seem to have agreed on one point without hassles: They want to project the BJP’s regime as a massive failure on all fronts. The Opposition’s joint attack on the BJP may not have substance, but it can affect the electorate in some measure. That may be the BJP’s main concern at this stage, no matter its bravado otherwise.

In the run up to the elections, many developments will take place, giving an altogether new shape to national politics, particularly as regards Opposition unity. But one thing can be sure: The Opposition will certainly arrive at some consensus, howsoever weak, and put up a common front, thus posing a new challenge for Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. There is little doubt that the BJP, too, will have to put its act together in a cogent and aggressive manner to combat the Opposition’s joint challenge.