Too Little Too Late - Eastern Mirror
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Too Little Too Late

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 27, 2024 12:48 am

In a last-ditch effort, a number of opposition parties have entered into a seat-sharing pact, hoping to upset the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) poll calculations. Whether the latest move by these opposition parties will be able to stop BJP’s poll juggernaut will only be known after the declaration of the election results. A section of the electorate views the formation as an opportunistic alliance rather than a determined effort by the opposition to dethrone BJP. It must be noted that amidst much fanfare, more than 20 opposition parties announced the formation of an opposition block a few months back in Patna. Quite astonishingly, the proposed opposition front started to disintegrate even before the initiation of the real battle with several parties leaving the alliance and some even joining hands with the ruling BJP. The ensuing blame game has created a free for all situation in the opposition with parties accusing each other for the failure of the proposed front. So, the parties involved in the seat-sharing pact should first explain the rationale behind joining hands despite parting away initially. Secondly, the much-hyped seat-sharing pact is limited to six or seven states rather than all over the country. For instance, the Congress and the Aam Admi Party (AAP) have decided to fight elections together in Delhi, Haryana, Gujarat and Goa. But they have decided to go solo in Punjab and Karnataka. Similarly, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) have entered into an electoral alliance in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, but the parties will fight separately in a couple of northern states. These facts clearly indicate that the opposition parties have stitched the alliance in a haphazard manner which appears to be fragile in nature.

The opposition could well have avoided such a situation if it had managed to take decisions collectively, instead of sweeping crucial issues under the carpet. For example, the opposition block had to sort out two issues namely seat-sharing and choosing a face against Narendra Modi; but it has failed miserably on both counts. The failure to select the face paved the way for Nitish Kumar (the brain behind the latest move to bring non-BJP parties together and eager prime ministerial face of the combined opposition) to walk out of the alliance. Similarly, a bitter personal equation between West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Chowdhury threw a spanner in seat-sharing negotiations between the two parties in the state, with Mamata insisting on putting up the party’s candidate from Chowdhury’s constituency. All these problems could have been solved amicably if the opposition leaders were interested in understanding ground realities. They spent more energy on outwitting each other than on formulating effective strategies to take on BJP unitedly, which has badly dented the image of the opposition alliance. So, notwithstanding the late seat-sharing pact, the opposition parties have an uphill climb in the forthcoming general elections.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Feb 27, 2024 12:48:29 am
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