Power and Politics : Bihar is just a glimpse, the entire responsibility of this 'immorality' lies on Rahul Gandhi

Power and Politics : Bihar is just a glimpse, the entire responsibility of this 'immorality' lies on Rahul Gandhi

Nitish Kumar's defection may have been unethical, but the Congress-led 'India' alliance allowed it to happen. Congress and the Gandhi family, especially Rahul Gandhi, are completely responsible for this situation, who chose Nyaya Yatra instead of building a consensus in the alliance for seat adjustment.

He himself is responsible for the anarchy and restlessness that has increased among the opposition parties due to Nitish Kumar changing sides. Of course, it may be unethical for Nitish Kumar to change sides, but the Congress-led 'India' alliance allowed it to happen. From June, 2023, when the 'India' alliance came into existence, committee raj, multiple power centres, dominance of a single party and lack of communication had indicated this. It may sound strange, but due to some unclear reasons, Congress refused to make its own party president Mallikarjun Kharge the prime ministerial candidate or the chairman of the alliance. This eliminated the possibility of depriving a regional satrap of the post of convenor, establishing a coalition secretariat, or settling the leadership issue.

Thus, the responsibility for this mess lies entirely with the Congress and the Gandhi family, especially Rahul Gandhi, who chose the Nyaya Yatra instead of building a consensus in the alliance for seat adjustment. The Gandhi family must be regretting how they missed a golden opportunity to pacify Nitish by making him the coordinator of the 'India' alliance. When everyone had agreed to make Nitish the convenor, Rahul reportedly argued that since Mamata Banerjee was not there, her consent should be taken.

For the next two weeks, Rahul either forgot it or decided to ignore it. There were no talks with Mamata, ultimately a frustrated Nitish decided to meet with the BJP. The BJP's strategy is more motivated by depriving the opposition alliance of Lok Sabha seats than strengthening its prospects in the 2024 elections.

Now efforts are being made to write the script after May 2024, in which regional parties are planning to blame Congress. Even within the Congress, Rahul's loyal leaders are interested in blaming Kharge, while people within the Congress are generally against Rahul. Priyanka Gandhi's absence indicates that all is not well inside 10 Janpath. A formal split in Congress after May 2024 cannot be ruled out.

While this defection of Nitish Kumar has dealt a major blow to the opposition alliance, BJP's chances of victory in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections have become stronger. Although BJP's position in the Hindi heartland is strong, the party did not want to take any risk. Therefore, by bringing Nitish into its fold, it has destroyed whatever possibility there was of a Congress-led 'India' alliance. Apart from this, just before the Lok Sabha elections, BJP has become its partner in power in another state and it is a matter of relief for JDU that its leader Nitish Kumar remains on the Chief Minister's chair. Whenever BJP and JDU have contested elections together, the results have been good.

In the last Lok Sabha elections, BJP along with JDU had won 39 out of 40 seats in Bihar. The Lok Sabha elections were more important for the BJP than who would become the Chief Minister of the state. BJP's strategy is to deprive the opposition alliance of Lok Sabha seats by giving a blow to its unity. Cracks have already arisen in the India alliance in West Bengal and Punjab, although Trinamool Congress and AAP still remain in the India alliance.

Opposition unity is easier said than done. There have been many such occasions in the past when people from different parties and ideologies united in 1977, 1989, 1996, and 2004. When the powerful Indira Gandhi was defeated in 1977, there was an anchor to anchor the opposition ship. On the initiative of Jayaprakash Narayan, four major opposition parties—Congress (O), Jan Sangh, Samyukt Socialist Party and Bharatiya Lok Dal united on January 23, 1977 and formed the Janata Party.

Similarly, in 1989, the right and left parties did not give a chance to Rajiv Gandhi to form the government with Vishwanath Pratap Singh, although Congress emerged as the largest party. Even in 2004, when BJP under the leadership of Atal Bihari Vajpayee got less seats than Congress, VP Singh and CPI(M) General Secretary Harkishan Singh Surjit worked behind the scenes to bring the regional satraps closer to Congress. Then UPA was formed, which ruled for ten years. In this way, on every occasion of era-making, work was done for unity for hardly a few months. Now that the countdown to the elections to be held in April-May is about to begin, the opposition is collapsing like a house of cards.

There is one more thing which is keeping the opposition camp captive. Most opposition leaders also know that Rahul does not want to become Prime Minister in 2024. He will not be a contender unless the Congress performs unexpectedly well in 2024. As per Rahul's plan, the Congress will not claim the coveted post until it reaches half the figure or 272 seats in the Lok Sabha. As things stand, if Congress gets even 100 seats, it will consider itself lucky. Thus, informally, the opposition parties are confident that the post of Prime Minister will go to a regional leader who has the ability to get more than 30 seats and gain acceptance among non-Congress groups.

The consecration of Ram temple spoiled the plans of the opposition. The opposition lost hope of any credible fight or outside chance to defeat Modi. Regional parties expected Rahul and Sonia Gandhi to be proactive, take corrective measures and give up the sense of entitlement. When he did not see anything like this, he started making his own strategy. What has happened in Bihar is just a glimpse. This is not the last blow. Many people in the 'India' alliance, from Uddhav Thackeray to Arvind Kejriwal and from Akhilesh Yadav to Sharad Pawar, are waiting for time and making their own strategies.


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