Hyderabad: The Opposition lacks a clear-cut stand on critical issues including the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Registry of Citizens (NRC). Hence, the common man is hitting the streets and playing the role of an effective Opposition, as seen in the protests by farmers and other groups, said MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi on Saturday.
Speaking at an online event organised by the Indian School of Business (ISB) on Saturday, Owaisi said the country was in dire need of ideological differences since the secular Opposition had failed to counter the BJP and safeguard the foundational principles of the Indian Republic and the Constitution. The secular Opposition was carrying the majoritarian Hindutva agenda which is not a good sign and is a potential threat to democracy, Owaisi said.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Does India lack an effective opposition”, Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said that the Opposition lacked coherence. She said that due to the “aristocratic government” at the Centre, the four pillars of democracy were under serious threat and the implementation of the Constitution was compromised on numerous occasions.
She said that the Opposition should have a common minimum programme and the coalition Aghadi government in Maharashtra had shown the way to countering the BJP.
Former Union minister Manish Tewari, a Congress MP, pointed to the longer period of anti-incumbency. He said that due to the lack of an effective Opposition the BJP was in power for 15 years in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress had ruled New Delhi for 15 years, the UPA government was in power for 10 and the NDA dispensation is in its second term.
Tiwari said that 2014 had opened up a new phase in democracy, giving rise to a government with a strong ideology. The strong ideology has been weakening democratic values; the ideology is an onslaught to the Constitution, he said. Due to the failure of the Opposition, the judiciary played an activist role during the Covid-19 pandemic, Tiwari pointed out.
Sanjaya Baru, political commentator and policy analyst, emphasised on the role of effective Opposition. He recalled the role that the communists played during the Congress regime from 1950 to until 1980.
He said that the Opposition is relatively weak now when compared to the Communists, though less in number. He saw the period between 1990 and 2014 as a consensual phase in India politics when Prime Ministers P.V. Narasimha Rao, Atal Behari Vaypayee and Dr Manmohan Singh carried forward the development agenda.
Baru said that from 2014, the radical policy-making changes and ideology have posed a greater challenges to the economic-political situation. Whether in power or not, political parties should work within the foundation principles of the Constitution for democracy to prevail....