Unity efforts

Within days of snatching victory out of the jaws of defeat, dissidence has surfaced in both the Congress and the JD(U) in Karnataka. Some legislators of both parties have started fighting for the spoils of office. They want to be made ministers. Several Congress and JD(U) legislators   have threatened to quit their parties if their personal ambition is not satisfied. The BJP has reacted quickly. B. S. Yeddyurappa has asked them to leave their parties and join the BJP. Now Mallikarjun Kharge of the Congress and H. D. Kumaraswamy of the JD(U) are trying to pacify their rebellious followers and save their government.
Seen in this background, the efforts at opposition unity being made in New Delhi have a hollow ring. The united opposition is said to be trying to take on the BJP one-to-one, or setting up a single candidate against the BJP in as many as 400 out of the 543 seats in 2019. It would be a broad front of all opposition parties, from Trinamool Congress to CPI(M). SP leader Akhilesh Yadav says he is prepared to ‘sacrifice’ seats to Bua-ji (Mayawati of the BSP) in UP in the interest of unity but fears at the same time that her Bua-ji may dump him and strike a deal with the Congress. On its part, the Congress which was not prepared to touch the Aam Admi Party of Arvind Kejriwal till the other day, is now reportedly ready to leave as many as six out of the seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi to the AAP and be satisfied with contesting just one.
When the desperate urge merely to defeat a strong opponent brings disparate parties with divergent ideologies together without any programme and policy, they are not likely to be taken seriously by the electorate. The voter finds he has been taken for a ride again and again. The voter believed in the Prime Minister’s promise of bringing achchhe din, of vikas or development being the driving force of all activities of his government. Today, after four years, the voter finds not only that the promises have not been fulfilled but he has also doubts whether the ruling party had the intention of fulfilling the promises. The two first thing the opposition parties will have to do to win the trust and confidence of the people are, first, to spell out a programme of action they will implement if they come to power, and secondly, to name their captain who will lead them into the electoral battle. Circumlocution about the second will not inspire the people’s confidence.

Monday, 11 June, 2018