Last Updated: February 22, 2023, 16:23 IST
With the slogan of “haath se haath” at the Raipur session of the Congress, the party hopes to firm its grip on the opposition front which is a work in progress.
It’s not a coincidence that ahead of the plenary session, where the Congress hopes to assert itself, party president Mallikarjun kharge said in 2024, the Congress-led opposition alliance can defeat the BJP. This is also in sync with the recent comments of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar — a new friend — who said the Congress must use the traction of the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ to initiate an alliance to defeat the BJP in 2024.
But moments later, Rahul Gandhi’s comments at a campaign in Meghalaya made it clear that the Trinamool Congress (TMC) is unlikely to be a part of this grand alliance. “People of Meghalaya are aware of the TMC’s tradition of violence and scams in Bengal. It spent huge amounts of money in Goa and now in Meghalaya to ensure the BJP wins.” This echoed the view reflected earlier by Congress leader Jairam Ramesh when he called the TMC the ‘B Team’ of the BJP.
The problem also lies in the acceptability of the Congress as the leader. First is the party’ poor report card. The last election it won was in Himachal Pradesh but in big states, it has lost out to the BJP or smaller parties which are emerging as national alternatives.
Second, not only has it been out of power for a decade in the Centre but its seats have been way below 100, making it a poor shadow of itself. The problem, for instance, for the TMC has been accepting Rahul Gandhi as the leader or chief negotiator of the opposition alliance. In fact, TMC chief Mamata Bannerjee had expressed this openly when she said she prefers his mother Sonia Gandhi with whom she shares a good bond.
“Congress has no moral right to ask for votes. We were also a part of the Congress but they expelled us. We are fighting against the BJP,” she said. Banerjee, on her part, can never forgive and forget the fact that Rahul Gandhi is keen on the Left — her bitterest opponent — as an ally.
With Congress openly labelling AAP, TMC and BRS as ‘B Team’ of the BJP, the opposition front initiative loses out on some big parties putting their heads together to take on the BJP. Unfortunately, this would make the BJP a winner again and opposition unity a mirage.
Read all the Latest Politics News here