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  Opinion   Edit  02 Jan 2024  AA Edit | Congress needs to talk to allies over agenda, seats

AA Edit | Congress needs to talk to allies over agenda, seats

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 3, 2024, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Jan 3, 2024, 12:00 am IST

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has been winning elections since 2014 despite several of its allies leaving its fold

The Congress is suffering the worst crisis of clarity. The BJP has been tom-tomming the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the flavour of the nation in an election season. (File Image:R. Pavan)
 The Congress is suffering the worst crisis of clarity. The BJP has been tom-tomming the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the flavour of the nation in an election season. (File Image:R. Pavan)

Reports of the Congress’ central leadership holding talks with its state units on the number of seats it could be contesting in the Lok Sabha elections in alliance with its partners in the INDIA bloc even before the Opposition platform presents itself as a cohesive unit is putting the cart before the horse.

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has been winning elections since 2014 despite several of its allies leaving its fold. This means that the core agenda of the ruling alliance is in place, and is there before the people. They choose or reject the saffron brigade for their own specific reasons. An alternative to the NDA, which the founders of INDIA claimed it will be, will have to first build itself as a group with an alternative ideology and plan to take the country forward. Lack of clarity on policy and programmes will rob credibility from its campaign.

The Congress is suffering the worst crisis of clarity. The BJP has been tom-tomming the Ram temple in Ayodhya as the flavour of the nation in an election season. It is not at all difficult for the Congress to stay away from the confabulations on attendance to the consecration ceremony of the temple. It can very well take the stand that this is a religious affair and a political party has nothing to do with it. But having danced to the “soft Hindutva” tune, it is now undecided.

The INDIA alliance partners who command large vote shares in their respective strongholds have been demanding that the Congress work seriously with a plan for the Lok Sabha election. JD(U) leader and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar is on record registering his disappointment with the Congress losing its focus. The Aam Aadmi Party which rules two states have proposed an alliance with the Congress so that the Opposition will have one candidate against the NDA in all constituencies. West Bengal chief minister and Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has proposed a three-way alliance with the Congress and the Left in the state so that the BJP’s 2019 tally of 18 seats can be brought down. It is for the Congress to assess and acknowledge the seriousness these parties are attaching to the Lok Sabha election.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge’s call for a meeting immediately after the election setback in the Hindi heartland was rebuffed by the alliance partners who made it clear that the Congress can claim a position of leadership only if it acts in a suitable fashion. The message was that the grand old party cannot claim natural leadership of political parties with a strong grassroots presence.

Tags: congress, leadership crisis, lok sabha elections, india bloc