Editorial: End Of The Tunnel For Congress?

Editorial: End Of The Tunnel For Congress?

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Thursday, February 22, 2024, 07:51 PM IST
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Congress (left) Samajwadi Party (right) |

In the aftermath of a series of setbacks faced by the Congress, a glimmer of optimism now graces the grand old party. The strategic alliances forged with the Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, coupled with a partnership with the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, herald a potential resurgence. The electoral landscape sees the Congress staking claims to 17 seats in UP, encompassing key constituencies like Rae Bareilly, Amethi, and Varanasi, along with three in Delhi. Simultaneously, the SP is set to contest 63 seats in UP and the Khajuraho seat in MP, leaving all the remaining seats to the Congress. The AAP will contest four seats in Delhi. Amidst the intricate negotiations, speculation loomed over the collapse of talks between the Congress and the SP on seat-sharing, particularly regarding seats deemed as SP’s pocket-boroughs. It was the timely intervention of Priyanka Gandhi that averted the crisis, rescuing the Congress from the bleak prospect of winning no seats in UP without this crucial alliance.

The revival of the I.N.D.I.A alliance marks a formidable return, bouncing back from the setback when the JDU, led by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, defected to align with the BJP. The success of this collaboration hints at the potential for similar understandings in other states, including the possibility of an alliance with the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, despite the latter expressing intentions to go solo. Examining the electoral dynamics, the Bahujan Samaj Party, which secured the second-largest number of seats in UP in 2019, presents a potential challenge. Unfortunately, even its MPs seem uncertain about their electoral strategy, raising concerns about the potential fragmentation of Opposition votes that could inadvertently benefit the BJP.

The urgency for Opposition unity stems from the apprehension that a BJP returning to power with 375 seats could have far-reaching consequences. There are fears that such a government might disregard the necessity of regular parliamentary and assembly elections, emphasising the need for a robust Opposition. The treatment of Opposition leaders, both in and out of power, by the current government serves as a stark reminder of the importance of a vigilant democracy. While uniting the anti-BJP voters seems a viable strategy, challenges persist, especially considering the BJP’s willingness to deploy any means to secure a victory. Navigating these complexities requires a cohesive and strategic Opposition, leveraging alliances to counter the potential dominance of the ruling party.

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