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Opposition should rise to the occasion

Opposition should rise to the occasionOpposition should rise to the occasion
Highlights

The Election Commission of India has blown the bugle for the high-voltage Lok Sabha elections. So much of...

The Election Commission of India has blown the bugle for the high-voltage Lok Sabha elections. So much of heat and dust have already been raised and the election agenda is almost set. This time one could be sure that people's interest would be buried deep in the maze of charges and counter charges and accusations and innuendos will flood the nation.

The language is already at its shrillest and there can be no further stooping by anyone. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has managed to wrest the agenda setting business from the Opposition, more comfortably after Pulwama terror attack, which is not an accident as the Congress leaders would like to put it and has drawn the line between patriots and anti-nationals.

He has gone ahead and equated the Opposition's' 'hatred' towards him as the 'hatred' for the nation. There is, unfortunately, a highly fragmented Opposition to take on Modi, despite this now or never situation.

The Opposition should remember that its strength apart from the failures of the Modi government, which it seems to ignore by and large in the post-Pulwama period, is the anger of the Dalits, farmers, downtrodden and marginalised groups and liberal societies. Unless all of them sit-together and bring their act together, it will be difficult for them to rise to the occasion. Unemployment, GST and demonetisation should be the focal points.

Rafael is not going to help as long as the apex court does not say something about it. Nirav, Mallya and Mehul Choksi examples have also failed to cut any ice so far as these are all brought overs from the previous regime. They are, if any, combined failures of the successive governments. The Opposition should have latched on to the people's issues and not to the fancy notions of a couple of Opposition leaders and sing the same tune. It should also be very careful not to allow their leaders to use filthy language against Modi.

Remember 'Neech, Chaiwallah' jibes of the past? Sadly, by indirectly blaming Modi for Pulwama not in a politically correct manner and going to the extent of calling him a traitor (Raj Thackeray has gone a step ahead and predicted another Pulwama before elections sounding as if Modi will be staging it once more), it has given an edge to Modi who is spin master. It is not voters' job to find a national alternative to Modi. It is the job of the Opposition to present one. As long as it doesn't, voters will have little faith in it.

Little time is left for it now. Opposition leaders should keep people's aspirations in mind, not their own ambitions and work for the same. The question before the nation is whether one should continue to reel under a divisive government which spreads hatred or whether one should live in harmony. People need a fair and transparent governance, not the one which relies on propaganda, falsehood and tomfoolery. Is the Opposition ready to dismantle the Machiavellian government and bring back a true democratic government?

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