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New dimensions emerging

New dimensions emerging
Highlights

Is the political space of the Opposition fast changing in the country post-Karnataka developments?  It seems, yes going by the flux of political developments in the country. However, there is no sense of direction to it. It has neither acquired any dimension nor any shape.

Is the political space of the Opposition fast changing in the country post-Karnataka developments? It seems, yes going by the flux of political developments in the country. However, there is no sense of direction to it. It has neither acquired any dimension nor any shape.

The very idea is at a nascent stage hence nothing could spell the shape of it or who are all going to be the formations. However, a few political leaders, mostly the regional ones, could play an important role. It is always good to hear a Chandrababu Naidu and Chandrasekhar Rao speaking of an alternate front to take on the party ruling the Centre. But, it is not enough. These two leaders alone cannot dictate the course of events to follow and their talk remains suitable for local consumption, perhaps.

States like Bihar, UP, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha matter a lot in the formation. UP has 80 Lok Sabha seats as against 40 of Bihar, 42 of West Bengal, 29 of Madhya Pradesh, 48 of Maharashtra and 21 of Odisha.

No doubt, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh do matter with a total of 54 Lok Sabha seats, but the voters’ mood here could be assessed later this year as both the states have their Assembly elections.

Hence, uncertainty comes from the remaining states where the political mood swings of the leaders are far higher than that of the voters. the Uttar Pradesh scenario has still not crystallised though the ‘Bua-Bhatija’ scenario has taken birth there.

How much of the desperate unity efforts of the Opposition would firm up their act well in time to take on the BJP juggernaut is to be seen. the problem is that the real tugs and pulls of such an alliance would not be on full display before the general elections. Vote transfer to the rivals in not an easy factor. Anyway, the BJP having won the maximum seats already in UP, cannot be expected to retain the same in UP in 2019.

Its best effort would be to retain at least half of them. This is where leaders like Nitish Kumar matter a lot. A Nitish, a Mamata and a Navin Patnaik (if not decimated by the BJP) do matter a lot. Those who are talking of posting a united face of the gaggle of political leaders must be wary of these three more than any. Nitish is an opportunist while Mamata plays real hard ball and Navin seems malleable for the BJP.

Those making efforts or even dreaming of a united opposition must be on the lookout for their ‘mood swings’ more than any. The three are unpredictable and could play a key role in any future formation post-poll due to their strong personal traits. All the three would be wary of alliances but unlike Mamata and Navin, the choice for Nitish is, perhaps, limited. But, he will always keep a door ajar for the BJP. Mamata remains almost invincible if she fights it alone in West Bengal and Navin prefers his aloofness. But then who is leading the pack?

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