Opposition politics as volatile as stock market, believe some
The politics of the Opposition parties can be compared to the share market; it goes up and comes down on a daily basis, and chaos follows almost every big or small incident. A Congress veteran made this astute observation, and said that after the good show in Gujarat, the party was on cloud nine. When the party won the byelections of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, its ‘stock’ went higher. However, after facing defeat in the North-East, the stock of the Congress has gone down again. He added that if the Congress performs well in Karnataka, its stock will rise again.
It seems that almost all the Opposition parties are being guided by the ideology of how power should be retained and, if not in power, how to snatch it. That is why perhaps Mamata Banerjee called the Shiv Sena supremo Uddhav Thackeray. As soon as the result of the N-E was announced, right from Mamata to K Chandrashekhar Rao, MK Stalin, Asaduddin Owaisi, Hemant Soren, and Uddhav became active. All of them talked with someone or the other, and started pondering over the possibility of a third front. Interestingly, the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and the RLD came together.
However, the Congress is of the opinion that there is no use of such restlessness; everything will be decided after the results of Karnataka. Even the dates of the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections will be finalised after the Karnataka results. If the BJP wins the election in Karnataka, then there is a possibility that the Lok Sabha polls will be held at the end of this year. Along with that, almost one dozen States will also go into polls.
That is why the Congress leaders are in the mood to wait. They are saying that Mamata often gets carried away and starts taking the initiative of either a third front or some other front. In fact, this is Mamata’s own worry. After Tripura’s results, she has become afraid of the BJP. In West Bengal, there is maximum chance of polarisation. So, it is obvious that there is some other motive behind Mamata’s initiative. The Congress leaders are confident that Mamata will have to come to them at last to give shape to any of the fronts.
BJP’S ELECTION STRATEGY
The BJP Chief Ministers are expected to advise on the issue of holding the Lok Sabha and Assembly Elections simultaneously. On February 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah met all BJP CMs in Delhi and sought their opinion on the matter. Probably, this was also in the agenda of the meeting, but no concrete advice was put forward. So, now all the CMs of the BJP-ruled States are pondering over the matter. In Jharkhand, CM Raghubar Das has announced setting up of a committee of senior ministers. This committee will look into issues,
such as what preparations will have to be made to go into simultaneous polls, and the benefits, if any. In the same manner, the Madhya Pradesh Government has also formed a committee. Almost all States are looking into the matter.
In fact, it will be interesting to see what various States think. Many CMs are not ready for early elections. The Governments of Jharkhand, Haryana, and Maharashtra will be ready for polls. In Bihar, the JDU is also ready. But in UP, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and the North-Eastern States — where the BJP recently came into power — might not be as prepared to face early elections. So, the decision will not be an easy one.
DIDI’S AMBITION OR WORRY?
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee recently called Telangana’s CM K Chandrashekhar Rao; he was delighted and said he was ready to lead the alliance. Now the big question is will Mamata give the command of the third front to KCR or is her motive something else? In fact, she has tried to hit two targets with one stone. A few days ago, KCR had sought the support of the Left parties. He had met CPM General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and told him to launch a third front, keeping the same distance from the BJP and Congress.
It is said that Mamata was upset when she heard the news of the meeting between KCR and Yechury. She doesn’t want the Left to get any space in the picture. That is why she made her move before any concrete deal was finalised between the Left and KCR. She promptly called KCR and proposed a third front under his leadership. Soon after that, Asaduddin Owaisi, the leader of AIMIM, praised Rao and said he could play a big role in the next elections.
So, KCR is foreseeing his role in the next elections, but Mamata’s real motive is to keep the Left away from the alliance. Her second ambition could be this: If any front is formed under her leadership, it must include kshatrapas from the South. In fact, the BJP’s victory in the N-E and the defeat of the Congress everywhere have ignited Mamata’s ambitions. Now she thinks that the parties can be united under her leadership instead of the Congress, and the party would also come under her command. That is why the TMC MP Derek O’Brien gave a statement saying this year, Modi would be giving his last speech from the Red Fort.
On one hand, Mamata is worried about the Left, and on the other, she is afraid of the BJP’s growing clout. That is why she has become active again to form a federal front. KCR has named it Lok Morcha or People’s Front. Mamata wants to keep the Left away from the front at any cost. That is why wherever the Left goes, Mamata is quick to follow.
TIMING OF RAHUL’S TOUR
Congress President Rahul Gandhi is again on the target of the Opposition. Not only this, his probable alliance partners are also targeting him. Though he worked hard for the election campaign in three N-E States and has started a campaign in Karnataka also, it seems he chose an odd timing for his foreign tour. Senior leaders of the Congress feel that Rahul should have stayed in Delhi to look after the preparation of the Budget Session, to keep an eye on the Karti episode, and to personally monitor the results of three N-E States.
Rahul was well aware that March 3 had been fixed for the results of three States of the N-E. Though the Congress had an idea of the results, the people are not appreciating Rahul’s decision to go abroad to meet his granny. Social media is full of jokes on Rahul’s decision. People are saying that even before the results, “Rahul ko naani yaad aa gayi!” This must be noted that it was Rahul’s father Rajiv who had attacked the Opposition with this jibe: “Naani yaad dila dunga.”
However, Rahul is said to have monitored the results from Italy, and sent Ahmed Patel to Meghalaya sensing a good trend. Some Congress leaders did not approve of Rahul’s decision, saying he should have cancelled his tour.
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