Nation Politics 04 Jun 2017 Can this political s ...

Can this political summit derail Modi?

Published Jun 4, 2017, 6:09 am IST
Updated Jun 4, 2017, 6:09 am IST
PM Modi
 PM Modi

Chennai: “This is not just a birthday celebration but a political summit to fight the reactionary forces that are trying to change the secular face of this country,’ said CPI leader Sudhakar Reddy.

The senior communist leader could not have been more accurate as the reason behind the large get together could have been Karunanidhi’s 94th birthday, but its true intent was to unify a splintered opposition.

The opposition has been struggling to stop the juggernaut called Narendra Modi as the recent state elections proved and his opponents are in desperate need of a formula to unravel the Modi magic for the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

So Saturday’s birthday bash proved the ideal launch pad and its significance was not lost upon DMK’s acting president M.K. Stalin who compared the coming together of the various opposition leaders to the launch of the National Front in 1989. “My father was instrumental in bringing all the national leaders from across the country on the same platform that led to the formation of the National Front government in 1989,” Stalin recalled.

Son Stalin would definitely love to replicate what his father had achieved in 1989, and later in 1996 through the United Front government and much later through the UPA government in 2004 and 2009. As Rahul Gandhi rightly pointed out “Stalin has to fill the shoes of a great man.” And he was proceeding in the right direction, the Congress leader quickly acknowledged and was confident that the son would measure up to the father’s stature.

Rahul Gandhi also underlined the unified opposition theory by vowing to stop the imposition of the BJP-RSS agenda on the nation by joint action. But the first real test for the opposition would be the coming presidential elections when it has to field an acceptable candidate to challenge the BJP’s choice.

The human chain of raised hands by the leaders, showcased today, was first unveiled during the National Front launch at the Marina beach in 1989. But history has also shown both the NF and UF experiments proved to be short lived as the egos of leaders proved the undoing of the political formations of that era. Stalin and Rahul, even if they are earnest about forging a common front, have to grapple with such egos as Mamata, Mulayam, Laloo and Kejriwal.



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