Opposition in Disarray - Eastern Mirror
Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Opposition in Disarray

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 08, 2022 9:59 pm

Defeats of the opposition candidates in both the Presidential and Vice Presidential elections were certain considering the current supremacy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Indian politics. But at the same time, no one had expected the opposition parties to surrender so timidly in these elections as a good contest could have boosted their morale before the all-crucial 2024 general elections. Clearly, the opposition parties have lost yet another golden opportunity to project an alternative to the electorate. The failure will also harm their electoral prospects considerably in the forthcoming Assembly elections in a few states.

The battle for the top two posts of the country had begun quite well for the opposition parties as veteran leader Sharad Pawar took the initiative to bring the opposition parties together and put up a stiff challenge against the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The effort gained momentum as NDA was short of required 50 per cent support in the Electoral College comprising the MPs and MLAs of the country. So the job of the opposition parties was limited in selecting a candidate, who could make a dent in the NDA’s vote bank. In this regard Sharad Pawar was the best choice as his candidature could have secured the support of a number of regional parties and few independents. Former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was not a bad choice either. But both of them declined to contest as opposition candidates in the presidential elections, leaving the opposition with no other option but to field Yashwant Sinha, a former BJP man as its candidate. It made the task easy for the ruling coalition to win the election by putting up a candidate with tribal credentials.

At least in the presidential election the opposition parties had shown an intent to fight, while it virtually gave a walkover to NDA even before the selection of the opposition candidate in the Vice Presidential election. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee skipped the opposition meet to select the candidate on the pretext that her party was not invited to join the said meeting. To many it’s nothing but an excuse considering the fact that on the same day in the same city, her party representatives had joined an all-party meeting convened by the government to ensure smooth functioning of the parliament.

Thus, it is no wonder that NDA’s candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar secured more votes than his predecessor outgoing Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. It only proves that during the last five years the opposition has not only conceded a substantial amount of political space to NDA, but has also lost the zeal to fight. Disunity is the main cause behind the opposition’s failure to put up even a semblance of fight in the recently concluded elections. The opposition parties should realise that by surrendering before the ruling party, they are hurting their credibility and the people will not trust them any more, which is a dangerous sign for democratic India .

By The Editorial Team Updated: Aug 08, 2022 9:59:10 pm