Before taking on BJP, Congress needs to recover

It would be futile for the Congress or any other party to seek to craft tactical moves to take Mr Modi on at this stage

On any practical reading of the situation, it is hard to see how the two-day conference hosted by the Congress this week to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth can be seen as an effort to fabricate an anti-BJP front.

As an idea, and as a grand figure of history whose thoughts and actions inspired so many in India and in other societies that experienced the de-colonisation process, Nehru held a strong pull, in his lifetime and afterward, for influential individuals as well as political parties. As such, if a clutch of non-Congress and non-BJP parties (although not all) attended the conference to remember Nehru and his signal contributions to the making of modern India, these can hardly be construed as experimenting with the idea of coming together in an anti-BJP front.

Such a notion won’t bear scrutiny at the current stage of politics in India. For one, the Congress itself is not the party at the moment around which other “secular” parties can coalesce, even if they are not required to look upon it as the “leader” of such a front.

Its political heft is eroded, its parliamentary numbers are greatly reduced, and it seems to have lost the Lok Sabha election in most states of the country. Ergo, the Congress has to first recover itself and marshal its strengths before it can initiate moves to draw in other parties to challenge the BJP, which is seeking under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to emerge as the country’s pre-eminent all-India political formation.

Two, there still remains considerable mutual unease between the Left parties and Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamul Congress in West Bengal, although the ground situation in the state is moving in a direction that may beckon them to join forces, directly or indirectly, to take on the BJP, which has begun to make muscular moves of late.

It is not clear where the Congress figures in all this. In any case, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat was quite clear when he told the media that no new political moves should be read in his party’s participation in the conference since the history of his party was one of challenging successive Congress governments.In any case, the momentum appears to be with Mr Modi’s leadership for now.

It would be futile for the Congress — or any other party — to seek to craft tactical moves to take him on at this stage. The time might be more opportune from their perspective when the faith in the PM’s capacity to deliver is exhausting. We are far from there. Opposition politics badly needs energy. Almost all BJP’s opponents currently appear to be in want of it.

( Source : dc )
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