Editorial: Show Of Unity – Too Little, Too Late?

Editorial: Show Of Unity – Too Little, Too Late?

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Monday, March 18, 2024, 06:12 PM IST
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Opposition leaders at the culmination of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Mumbai | PTI

Even as the I.N.D.I.A alliance appears to be unravelling ahead of the 2024 general elections, leaders of the bloc put up a show of unity at the culmination of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra in Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on March 17. MK Stalin, Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, Uddhav Thackeray, Tejashwi Yadav, Mehbooba Mufti and other leaders were at hand to express their solidarity with the Congress leader. While Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav was not present he sent a letter commending the yatra and expressing his inability to attend because of prior commitments. Conspicuous by their absence were representatives of the Trinamool Congress. However, Mamata Banerjee has already made it clear that she will not ally with the Congress, unilaterally announcing candidates for all 42 seats in West Bengal.

It remains to be seen if the yatra that began in Manipur and culminated in Mumbai will have any impact on the Congress party’s electoral fortunes. The first instalment of the Bharat Jodo Yatra from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, while it drew large crowds, saw the party facing defeat in elections to three key Hindi heartland states. It has, however, established Rahul Gandhi as a strong voice against the Modi government with his unrelenting attack on the alleged crony capitalism that dogs this dispensation and the atmosphere of hate and fear that purportedly plagues the country. The I.N.D.I.A alliance has not lived up to its promise of being an alternate voice in the country largely because of the internal differences in the grouping since the beginning. Barring tie-ups in some states, the Opposition grouping has not really taken off. Many seat-sharing arrangements have yet to be worked out and no joint campaign strategy has been decided upon. With just a month left before the Lok Sabha elections kick off, the semi-united show in Mumbai is perhaps a case of too little, too late.

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