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Only a resurgent Congress can stop BJP

Only a resurgent Congress can stop BJP
Highlights

2016 was so near, yet so far, till this eventful Thursday. 2019 is far away, yet so near now. The dynamics of time are such that men are often found...

2016 was so near, yet so far, till this eventful Thursday. 2019 is far away, yet so near now. The dynamics of time are such that men are often found fumbling in the dark for not utilising the minutes on hand, dreaming about the years ahead.

When the time's trot begins, a sense of urgency usually does not step in until the trot turns into a gallop. By then, usually, it is too late to understand the consequences.

Under these stressful conditions, foreshadowing is not possible for all. The technique of arranging events and information in a narrative in such a way that later events are prepared for or shadowed forth beforehand is to be cultivated through practice. Only then, one could comprehend the end contained in the beginning and this gives a structural and thematic unity to the plans of men of wisdom.

Unless the Congress rises from the ashes like a phoenix in 2017 in the Assembly elections with or without joining hands with the local players in States like UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, there is little to bind the coalition of regional parties against the BJP. For that to happen, the Congress has to do some serious introspection rather than building firewalls around Rahul and Sonia every time they fail to deliver

As soon as the results broke out on Thursday, of the Assembly elections, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Benerjee proclaimed "I would like to work with the likes of Nitish Kumar, Mayavati, Jayalalithaa, Chandrababu Naidu and Arvind Kejriwal in the future.”

That was in response to a question whether she was a Prime Ministerial
contender. She went on to add that she was not a VIP but a LIP (Less Important Person) in the political firmament in the country and was content with serving the nation in her own capacity as the CM of West Bengal.

These days the political listings are different. It is these LIPs who matter more. LIPs like N Chandrababu Naidu, K Chandrashekar Rao, Jayalalithaa, Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish Kumar Yadav, Naveen Patnaik and Mulayam Singh Yadav etc.
have proved themselves to the country more relevant than the Congress, once a national party and now a national remnant. As the days surge towards 2019, their relevance would be more visible and more important to the scheme of things to fall in place after three years.

The emergence of the BJP as a national party and the regional satraps in their States is bound to lead to a political realignment in all the States now. Not that we do not have, already, national alliances. Apart from the two existing ones, the UPA and the NDA, there was always a room for the third alternative.

It did not become a lasting reality because of the tugs and pulls of regional compulsions and the shortcomings of the players involved in the same so far.

As long as there are two players, it is always easier to conjure a third force. What if, there is only one national party? In the past when the Congress was the dominant force, the regional aspirations either fell in line with the demands of the big brother or contained their influence to local pockets.

Then came the necessity of accommodating the emerging frontrunners of the States. The regional parties could emerge because the people were fed up with the national party whose nominees at the State level did not bother to assuage the local or regional feelings.

The BJP's current leadership realises the danger in store in playing a Congress. Hence it is cultivating the local leadership from its cadres, on the one hand, and is also trying to take the regional parties into its fold, on the other hand, despite differences sometimes.

Going by the indications of the party bosses, post-Thursday, BJP is going to pursue a similar policy more rigorously. It is bound to look for allies in the States, however small, but all the while will be working for strengthening its base not through its political bonding alone but by spreading its ideology.

If it adopts a softer version of Hindutva as was practiced in the Assembly elections so as not to ruffle any feathers, perhaps it could be in a position to drive a spoke into the plans of a Nitish or a Mamata.

The BJP could be a binding factor for alliances just as the Congress could be. When we look at the alternative not as a third front but as an alternative to the BJP-led coalition, it is this binding factor that would be found lacking to the suggestive experiment of Mamata.

Unless the Congress rises from the ashes like a phoenix in 2017 in the Assembly elections with or without joining hands with the local players in States like UP, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, there is little to bind the coalition of regional parties against the BJP. It could be possible in a couple of States, but when it comes to the General Elections and as a national alternative to the BJP plus allies, there is little hope that it works.

Could we ever imagine Mamata or Jaya agreeing on one issue or the other, the former with her minority-centric view and the latter as a Dravidian force? Why Mamata mentioned Naidu in between is a mystery as there is little similarity between her party and the TDP which is much older.

It is also not known till date whether Nitish would remain unscathed in the shadow of Lalu Yadav and his kin, and under the behavioural problems of his leaders who prefer strong-arm tactics in day-to-day life.

A major issue with these regional kings and queens is that they have to struggle hard to retain their own base first, otherwise, their opponents could easily pull the rug from under their feet any day. Being the LIPs as they are in Mamata's words, they would be dependent on the Centre to overcome several problems too.

Hence the emergence of such a coalition may not happen at all. That is, unless the Congress revives itself. For that to happen the Congress has to do some serious introspection rather than building firewalls around Rahul and Sonia every time they fail to deliver.

The levels of sycophancy and the self-seeking service flattery are so nauseating for the countrymen, that it could take a long time and a complete overhaul of the leadership in the party. Yes, it is absolutely Congress business as to who should lead it. But when it comes to leading the country, it is the people who decide. That is a basic that the Congress leaders have forgotten.

In their blind adulation of Rahul and in the midst of all the scheming that goes behind making him the party leader, the Congressmen forget that Rahul's schooling days are far from over. Not only that, but he has also turned out to be a bad student.

Look at the way he dismissed Himant Biswa out of the party in Assam! The latter merrily joined hands with the BJP to fetch it an advantage of at least 20-odd seats. This the grand old party knew before hand, but it did not care to mend its ways, because it was Rahul Baba's decision.

Of course, much earlier, they had driven out a young and brash, Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, too, similarly, instead of making good use of him.

Then in Tamil Nadu, G K Vasan, son of late G K Moopanar, too, was forced to form his own party. Ask any of the Opposition leaders who were or are partners of the UPA, they would all say that they prefer to work with Sonia Gandhi, rather than Rahul. His own party seniors are wary of him.

Rahul had also rubbed former Haryana CM, Bhupinder Hooda, on the wrong side and when some seniors suggested to him to join hands with Mamata, it was he who put his foot down.

Such is Rahul's power of self-destruction. Hence, more than knitting any anti-BJP front, "Bachke Raho" should be the motto of the parties in power now, till something deals a big blow to the BJP.

By:W.Chandrakanth

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