Editorial: Alliance On Verge Of Collapse

Editorial: Alliance On Verge Of Collapse

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, January 29, 2024, 09:04 PM IST
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The exit of Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is the latest in a series of blows to the Opposition I.N.D.I.A alliance. Kumar, who was seen as the architect of the alliance, working tirelessly over the last one-and-a-half years to bring together diverse parties and individuals on to a common platform with the aim of ousting the BJP from power in 2024, struck a death blow to the Opposition bloc by going back to the NDA fold. The I.N.D.I.A grouping was already reeling from Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee’s unilateral announcement of going it solo in West Bengal while targeting the Congress. Not to be left behind, Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party announced its decision to fight on its own in Punjab. Political commentators had virtually written off the Opposition grouping, and the latest developments only reinforce their claim. Despite the bravado displayed after the exit of Kumar and statements of all being well in the alliance, the I.N.D.I.A bloc seems to be imploding. Its internal contradictions appear to be too many to sort out in the few weeks before the Lok Sabha elections are announced.

This grouping of 26 parties has had its share of troubles from the beginning largely because most of the other parties have been opposed to the Congress in the past. In fact parties like the TMC and NCP came into existence because their leaders left the Grand Old Party to strike out on their own. Their unease over the Congress claiming a key role post elections made them work at cross purposes. Instead of buckling down to arrive at a seat-sharing formula and a common agenda and ideology to take on the mighty BJP juggernaut, they spent valuable time bickering. Mamata Banerjee and Arvind Kejriwal unilaterally proposing Mallikarjun Kharge as the best candidate for the bloc’s chairmanship created quite a stir. Obviously theirs was a mischievous move aimed at preventing Rahul Gandhi from laying any claim in the leadership stakes but it also succeeded in annoying Nitish Kumar, already under pressure in his home state to deliver in the upcoming elections. Amidst all this turmoil, the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra led by Rahul Gandhi has entered Bihar. It is hard to justify the yatra, whose purpose is purportedly non-political, at a time when elections are just round the corner and the BJP is on a distinct high basking in the glow of the Ayodhya Ram temple consecration ceremony. The I.N.D.I.A alliance, which started off so promisingly as a grouping of like-minded parties bent on taking on the allegedly authoritarian government at the Centre, is now on the verge of collapse. Even the most optimistic of its votaries cannot find a silver lining in the dark clouds surrounding the grouping. Its next moves will be watched with avid interest by political rivals and analysts alike.

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