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  Opinion   Edit  10 Jan 2024  AA Edit | Cong need ‘give and take’ for its alliance to succeed

AA Edit | Cong need ‘give and take’ for its alliance to succeed

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 11, 2024, 12:00 am IST
Updated : Jan 11, 2024, 12:00 am IST

Whether the party learnt its lessons from the Assembly elections will be reflected in the way it will be negotiating with the others

Only a comprehensive audit of the government on the promises it made before assuming office and after, and the alternative narrative that the Opposition itself has prepared, will give them some space in the imaginations of the people. To develop it will then be its real task. (File Image: DC)
 Only a comprehensive audit of the government on the promises it made before assuming office and after, and the alternative narrative that the Opposition itself has prepared, will give them some space in the imaginations of the people. To develop it will then be its real task. (File Image: DC)

The baby steps the partners of the INDIA bloc are taking towards attaining the common goal of putting up a common candidate against the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in every constituency reflect the pragmatism of the Opposition grouping despite reversals in the recent Assembly elections in the Hindi heartland.

The major partners of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) have come to a broad agreement on the number of seats they will be contesting in Maharashtra, which sends 48 members to the Lok Sabha. The Congress, the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena and the Nationalist Congress Party have also decided to induct the Vanchit Bahujan Agahdi led by Prakash Ambedkar with a view to cobble together a broader coalition ahead of the polls.

The Congress and the Samajwadi Party have broken the ice and started some early negotiations on the contours of the alliance in key states, especially Uttar Pradesh. The recalcitrant and dismissive approach of the state Congress leaderships towards the SP and other regional parties contributed heavily to the drubbing the party received in the Assembly elections in MP. It had forgotten the fact that it is the job of the party that claims natural leadership of the alliance to ensure that it makes every effort to take every player in the team along to win the match. Whether the party learnt its lessons from the Assembly elections will be reflected in the way it will be negotiating with the others.

Two key partners, the Trinamul Congress in West Bengal, with 42 seats, and the Aam Aadmi Party which rules Delhi and Punjab, which together send 20 members, have also declared that they are willing to enter into an alliance with the Congress even while the local leaderships are opposed to it. The way the state unit of the Congress jumped the gun and demanded President’s rule in West Bengal after a team of the Enforcement Directorate was attacked in a village there did not behove the sense of camaraderie two partners should share.

The Congress, as an Opposition party in West Bengal, is free to condemn actions that question the rule of law, but the demand for handing over the state’s administration to the Union government cannot be counted as a genuine concern for principles of democracy. It is for the Congress leadership to make the state units understand the import of the forthcoming elections and the need to put up a joint fight.

Negotiations on seats are part of the internal dynamics of the coalition platform, but what would interest the electorate will be the programme it will present before it. Given the way the BJP and its allies are projecting the opening of the Ram temple as their theme song for the polls, the Opposition will be a distant loser if it, too, fights for the Hindutva plank. It will be good for it to realise that reducing the campaign to individuals on either side won’t be a winning proposition, either. Only a comprehensive audit of the government on the promises it made before assuming office and after, and the alternative narrative that the Opposition itself has prepared, will give them some space in the imaginations of the people. To develop it will then be its real task.

Tags: opposition blocs, india bloc, national democratic alliance (nda), maha vikas aghadi (mva), congress, shiv sena