Opposition unity looks more of a chimera

Opposition unity looks more of a chimera
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Highlights

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar has won the Vice Presidential election, defeating the opposition-sponsored candidate Margaret Alva by a comfortable margin. While Dhankhar polled 528 votes, Alva got 182 votes.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) candidate Jagdeep Dhankhar has won the Vice Presidential election, defeating the opposition-sponsored candidate Margaret Alva by a comfortable margin. While Dhankhar polled 528 votes, Alva got 182 votes.

With this, the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament, the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, will now be headed by leaders from Rajasthan. Dhankhar belongs to the Jat community and is a 'Kisan Putra' (Son of a farmer). Jats are a politically active and influential community in many parts of the North Indian states like Rajasthan, Haryana, western part of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.

A majority of the Jats in these areas are land-holding farmers. When the Modi government came up with the controversial farm laws, a large number of Jats from these areas had participated in the year-long agitation.

The election of the Vice President has once again proved that the opposition has again failed to roar, though that is the need of the hour. They have failed to show their strength both in Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections. Instead of sending a clear message to the people that the opposition is one in fighting the BJP at centre, they are exhibiting their weakness.

Some sloganeering in Parliament or sitting on dharna for some time in the premises of Parliament together cannot create confidence among the people of the country that they are the alternative to BJP in the next elections.

What came as a greater surprise was Mamata's decision to boycott the Vice President election. She had frequent run-ins with Dhankhar when he was the Governor of West Bengal and had always accused him of being an agent of the BJP. The going was never smooth and Mamata Banerjee had lodged several complaints in formal letters against the Governor. Her allegations were that he was making governance difficult by creating hurdles in the movement of files, calling Chief Secretary and other officials even for small issues, which amounted to interference in the functioning of the CM. Since she had fiercely opposed Dhankhar, the opposition parties felt that Didi would support Margaret Alva who was her associate when she was in Congress party but her decision not to participate in the polling came as a big disappointment to them.

Even the TRS till the last minute had kept its cards close to its chest and only at the eleventh hour announced its support to Alva. The opposition parties which could not stand united during the elections of President of India and Vice President now want the people to believe that they would roar again and this time the NDA government led by BJP would be defeated.

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