Contrasting picture

The opposition parties and the ruling NDA give two contrasting pictures. With every passing day, the opposition shows its intention to sink its differences, come together and throw a challenge to the NDA in next year’s general elections. A significant straw in the wind is the cabinet formation in Karnataka. The lone BSP MLA has been made a minister. It is a message to Mayawati and shows the intent of the Congress to fight the NDA unitedly in Uttar Pradesh where the BSP is a strong player.  Lately, Akhilesh and Mayawati have started coming closer. In Bihar, there are unconfirmed reports of Nitish Kumar having sent feelers to Lalu Prasad after losing several by-elections. In Punjab, BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal is showing signs of restlessness while Chandra Babu Naidu of TDP is becoming more shrill in his criticism of the ruling party. On the eve of BJP general secretary Amit Shah’s meeting with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to mend fences with the estranged ally, the Sena mouthpiece Saamna has carried an editorial which is anything but encouraging for the BJP. Some smaller constituents of the NDA are keeping a close watch on the situation and may change sides any moment.
The BJP is showing signs of nervousness. Hence the desperate attempt to hold the flock together. The BJP’s performance in the last four years has been dismal. The farmers are on a ten-day long stir, demanding loan waiver and remunerative prices. Mandis in several States have already been affected. If the farmers’ agitation spreads further and gathers momentum, it will pose a big challenge to the Government. Fuel prices had gone up by rupees every day and are now coming down by paises. Its impact is hardly being felt. The economy is in poor health. Resource constraints are mounting. So much so that the army has had to cut down its requirement of modern assault rifles to just 2.5 lakh from the original eight lakh, which would have cost USD 2.5 billion. The NDA is obviously at a disadvantage. But the opposition can turn the ruling party’s disadvantage to its own advantage by assuring the people that they would cement their unity further and give the country an alternative and better government, that they will be able to manage their contradictions.. Ultimately, it is the people’s confidence that they will have to win. The past experience of the people about disparate parties coming together and forming coalition governments has not been happy.

Wednesday, 6 June, 2018