Thiruvananthapuram: Congress president Rahul Gandhi could pick up a few home truths now that he has pitched tent in Wayanad. It’s not about the UPA or the Mahagatbanhhan.
The Kerala model United Democratic Front has been an all-weather coalition of political parties, including those representing various communities and interest groups, and been a successful model in the State since the 1980s when the bipolar formations came into being, ensuring alternating governance every five years.
The LDF has been a more programmatic coalition, more ideology-driven, whereas the
UDF has been a more pragmatic arrangement of interests outside the pale of the Left bandwagon.
Now the model before the Congress at the national level, though a tad late, is a broad alliance of parties and interests and has even groups that do not have representation in Parliament or State Assemblies. The wisdom behind this arrangement is not far to seek since the NDA has already done that.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is a votary of a grand coalition, who says nothing could be more momentous when the Congress has been able to put up a spirited fight and improve its tally from 44 to 52 in spite of the ‘tsunamo’.
The Muslim League, which clinched the second-highest vote margin at adjacent Malappuram, hopes to impress on Mr Gandhi the urgency for a broad-based coalition at the national level that must also include Left parties.
“It’s time we saw the writing on the wall and offered, with Congress in the lead, a purposeful coalition as an alternative to practitioners of the majoritarian agenda. The Congress’ failure to walk the extra mile to accommodate BSP, SP and AAP has led to the debacle,” says League leader and former local self-government minister Kutty Ahmed Kutty.
He could not understand why the Congress could not accommodate Mr Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, the president of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh and Vanchit Bahujan in Mahara-shtra.
CMP leader C.P. John, who rues the absence of coalition doyens Harkishen Singh Surjeet and K, Karunakaran, says there must a standing coalition in the north, south, west and centre.
He cites the pragmatism of the BJP to field ally BDJS against Mr Gandhi in Wayanad. That’s the level of confidence with which the party, which a majority of its own, treats a partner, yet to mark its legislative presence, he said.
“This is a time for the politics of inclusion and accommodation than the politics of elimination. Senior Congress leader A.K. Antony is eminently worthy of taking the agenda of a broader coalition forward since he had been integral to the UDF since its inception and has unmatched credibility as a politician”, said Mr John....