A Divided House - Eastern Mirror
Monday, June 05, 2023

A Divided House

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 21, 2023 11:01 pm

The effort to bring all non-BJP parties onto a single platform has suffered a severe blow as the Congress has not extended invitations to a number of opposition parties on the occasion of the swearing-in of the new Karnataka government. The act of selective omission has created so much resentment among the opposition rank that Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had to rush to the national capital to pacify Arvind Kejriwal. On his part, the Bihar Chief Minister has conveyed a message that opposition parties are still willing to count AAP in their rank despite the snub by the congress party. The grand-old political party of the country has made it quite clear that it is in no mood to hobnob with a party which has already emerged as its political opponent in Delhi and Punjab in a very short span of time. On the other hand, by seeking the support of all the opposition parties to defeat the ordinance brought by the Centre in the Rajya Sabha, Kejriwal has set clear his intention to remain in the opposition camp. The Delhi Chief Minister has made it very clear that his party will think about opposition unity only when all opposition parties stand by his side. Kejriwal is well within his right to set such a condition as his party has comprehensively defeated both the Congress and BJP in Delhi and Punjab Assembly elections. But the Congress too has already indicated that it has no inclination of having ties with AAP and will go alone in two AAP-ruled states in the forthcoming general elections in 2024.

There are many such puzzles that opposition leaders like Nitish Kumar and others will have to solve if they want to put a combined opposition candidate in all parliamentary constituencies against BJP. But even before the start of such an effort at the right earnest, it is unlikely that the move will bear fruit as the so called like-minded parties refuse to cooperate with others in many states. While seat sharing in Bihar or Maharashtra may not be that problematic, it will be very difficult for non-BJP parties to join hands in states like West Bengal, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab and Odisha. In West Bengal, the chances of an electoral deal between the Congress and Mamata Banerjee appear bleak. Same is the case with Telangana where the fight between the Congress and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi may actually aid the BJP. A close study of the situation will reveal that the non-BJP parties are running after a mirage called opposition unity. Their effort to recreate the scenario of 1977 or 1989 may not become a reality as India’s political scene has undergone a sea change. The BJP has managed to create a separate vote bank for the party and all other parties are attempting to grab a bite of a common vote bank. Without compromise and combined efforts, a pre-poll alliance of the non-BJP parties seems unlikely to threaten the ruling BJP juggernaut.

By The Editorial Team Updated: May 21, 2023 11:01:13 pm