Weaving alliances, a real test ahead of Rahul Gandhi


Almost all opposition parties and most regional parties have made up their mind to oust the BJP from the centre, but you cannot fly on your wishes without wings. Many states are ruled by the BJP and the Congress has shrunk to a few states. The largest state of Uttar Pradesh is ruled by the BJP and the next largest state Bihar is under the JD(U) and BJP alliance. The Samajwadi Party and the Rashtriya Janta Dal, the powerful regional parties are without power. The only pan India party is the Congress which has lost its grass-root support in many states. However, it has regained support to greater extent in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh which will go to polls later this year. The south is not shadowed by the BJP influence but the party has made its bastion in Karnataka. Though the state is ruled by the Congress and the JD(S), but in the last assembly election, the BJP emerged as the single largest party.

Against this backdrop, the only way to dethrone BJP is to make alliances on regional basis. No broad-based alliance is likely to be formed due to the conflict of egos among the opposition leaders. When a galaxy of opposition leaders gathered at the swearing-in ceremony of the Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, the bonhomie was considered a good omen for the non-BJP forces, but that was a fleeting gesture. Many opposition leaders admitted that there is no likelihood of a grand alliance for the Lok Sabha polls. Still there is space for regional understanding.

Keeping this prospect in view, the Congress has made up its mind to seek all possibilities for workable alliances among opposition parties. In the meeting of an extended Congress Working Committee on July 22, the president of the party Rahul Gandhi was given the responsibility to take decision on alliances. It is also decided to present him as the party’s prime ministerial face. It is the full-fledged responsibility for him to interact with other parties. No doubt the opposition is determined to overthrow the BJP, but simple resolution will not work without any concrete strategy.

Rahul Gandhi during the last few years has grown into a capable leader to call shots and take challenges. However, the task ahead is a gigantic one. To make his job easy, he may frame a committee to discuss the issue. Senior leaders including Sonia Gandhi are available for him to take counsel. Given the miserable performance of the Modi government, the Prime Minister has lost a greater amount of people’s confidence, but there should be a capable rival to exploit the situation. Now it is up to the Congress president to take as many opposition parties along with him as possible. The shortcomings and miscalculations committed in the past should be the pointers on alliances. One should expect a wiser counsel will prevail on him to pick up and drop the friends and foes to reinforce the party to give the BJP a startling challenge in the coming Lok Sabha elections.



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