It is unfortunate that the cohesion between parties in the Opposition before the Lok Sabha elections has virtually evaporated and has in fact been replaced by derision and scorn. Either Opposition conclaves are not taking place or even when they do there is little solidarity. The result is that the Opposition is failing to discharge the role of a watchdog effectively and to pose an effective challenge to the ruling dispensation. On Wednesday, the Samajwadi Party Maharashtra president Abu Asim Azmi told the media that his party had broken away from the Congress-led alliance while the CPI (M) denied it was ever a part of the alliance. Evidently, the alliance is in tatters. While the CPI (M) has struck an understanding with the Congress and the NCP in two seats in Maharashtra in six other seats it is contesting independently. The arrangement with the Peasants and Workers Party has also fallen through. The morale of Opposition candidates is low while in the BJP and Shiv Sena camps there is a perceptibly high morale.
The Maharashtra example has been repeated in Haryana and Jharkhand too which are the other states that are going to polls. The Congress has abdicated all responsibility of coordinating the Opposition challenge and in the absence of leadership the Opposition is groping. It is seeming increasingly as a David versus Goliath battle. The electorate will of course have the last say and there is still an element of suspense but it is increasingly looking bleak for the Opposition. While other Opposition parties are feeling betrayed by the Congress there is no leadership worth the name in other parties too. It is indeed a perfect prescription for the ruling party to get a feeling of invincibility.