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Why the dream of Opposition unity is incomplete?

  By Vijay Darda | 26-06-2017

There is a lack of unity in the effort to challenge the BJP; will the situation remain the same even in 2019 elections?

Where there is unity, victory is there

-Publius Cyrus

The irony of the present day Indian democracy is that there is no such thing as unity among the opposition parties. So how can they expect to win? In fact, when the opposition appears to be so weak and helpless, then all possibilities of keeping the powers that be on a leash are over. This situation can not be called a good sign for democracy. It is natural for the common man to be worried and it is also an inevitable question to ask why our opposition is so scattered? Why all efforts of solidarity remain incomplete?

It is not a difficult task to find out the reasons. Rather, let’s say that everyone knows but the self-interest of the leaders is so much that none can walk on one path for the opposition unity. On May 1, the birth anniversary of the famous socialist leader Madhu Limaye, leaders of Congress, Marxist Communist Party, Communist Party of India, Janata Dal (U), Bahujan Samaj Party, NCP, Lok Dal and many other parties had gathered in Delhi. The theme was- “The unity of progressive forces”. This meeting was also like there are other meetings organized for unity.

Yes, one thing has definitely emerged in this conclave that it is not necessary for the opposition coalition to see which party has got or getting what percentage of votes in which state. It is essential that the coalition policy and programme are united. This is the biggest problem, where opposition attempts to unify reach the danger zone. For example, the policies of the Congress and the Left can not be on the same page. Congress is a party which brought a new stream of development in this country. The Congress had prepared the real ground for foreign capital investment. The BJP is only harvesting the crop today. Left parties are still strongly opposed to this policy and they consider it a path to capitalism. Naturally, neither Congress will budge from its policies nor will the Left party change its own thinking; it is evident that in such a situation both parties can not be united with one another. If they ever talk about being one, then it will be only for the time being.

Now look at the other parties. In Uttar Pradesh, leaders like Mulayam Singh and Akhilesh Yadav talk about socialist policies, but the fact is that their party has nothing to do with socialism. The whole party is person oriented. There is no such thing as cadre. Those who are in the party are devotees of their leader. Whatever Netaji says, that is the last word. Lalu Yadav is like the Rashtriya Janata Dal Private Limited Company. They worry about their families more than policies. After joining any coalition, they will directly see to their own interests. The entire Janata Dal (U) is surrounded by Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav. This is the case with other parties too.

It is clear that in such a situation, Opposition needs such a central point for unity that can unite everyone. Only the Congress has the capacity to play that role, but the Congress has weakened itself to such an extent that the other parties do not believe that going with the Congress will have any benefit for them. Though on the issue of presidential candidate, 17 parties (Congress, NCP, Rashtriya Janata Dal, CPI (M), CPI, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, National Conference, Trinamool Congress, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party, JDS, RSP, JMM, AUIDF of Assam, IUML, Kerala Congress and National Lok Dal) have been united but how much strength most of them have? Mayawati first went to support BJP candidate Ram Nath Kovind, but she has changed the tack and now she is supporting the opposition coalition candidate Meira Kumar. Nitish Kumar is still out of this unity. It is ironic that Lalu Yadav’s party and Nitish are running together in Bihar but the two have different views on the issue of presidential elections. The Opposition has not got the support of even the Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti and YSR Congress. Indeed, if you look at reconciliation of the parties, then the Bharatiya Janata Party looks much ahead. There are more than three dozen parties with it. It is a different matter that many parties have no members in the Lok Sabha nor in the Rajya Sabha! But then there are not even one and a half dozen parties with the Congress!

Actually, the opposition has only one point – communalism! All the parties opposing the BJP term the BJP as communal and appeal to the public to save the country from this communalism, but is the public listening? We have seen recent election results in Uttar Pradesh and other states. Opposition parties should understand the public mood and what the people of this country want? In fact, opposition parties are unable to understand the mood of the country, so they are constantly lagging behind and the Bharatiya Janata Party is spreading in those areas which used to be quintessentially Congress citadels. 

All opposition parties have to understand that the issue of communalism has been outdated. In particular, the Congress will have to play an important role because it is the only party whose reach is in the entire country and on which the country can rely. The strength of the regional parties is in a particular area, their attitude is also regional. In the opposition parties, the Congress is actually the only party that has a broad vision. Other parties should get out of their self-interest so that the country can get a strong opposition. Powerful opposition is very important for democracy.

And the opposition will have to explore new issues related to the public so that the BJP can be confronted squarely! Congress will have to take the lead with new thinking. New thoughts will have to be put before the people. One fact is for certain, the more the regional parties prosper the greater will be the loss for the country. It goes without saying that only the Congress has the strength to stand before the BJP. Once upon a time, the Congress was dominant all over the country and there was no other party before it. Today BJP has become an all India party. I think some of the parties in the South may merge into the BJP. As things stand today, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are batting furiously and the opposition parties in the ground are not able to stop the run riot.

Before I conclude…

Both the candidates contesting for the presidential election are wonderful in terms of personality, qualifications and experience. I have got the opportunity of proximity with both of them. With NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovindji I have worked for a long time in the Rajya Sabha. He was the Chairman of the House Committee and he had allotted the residential quarter to me. He used to come there. His work in the Rajya Sabha was highly exemplary. His speeches were marked with profundity of thought. He used to talk on the basis of facts. The statistics of victory are seen with Kovindji, but I would like to say that both of them are fully qualified for the post of President.


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Why the dream of Opposition unity is incomplete?


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