The farmers’ stir seems to have given hope to the motley Opposition groups to try and aggressively take on the well-entrenched ruling party. Even as the Punjab farmers rough it out in the biting cold on the borders of the capital, opposition leaders devise stratagems to confront the Modi Government.
NCP leader Sharad Pawar’s support to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her on-going confrontation with the Centre could be a precursor to the formation of a joint front with the single objective of challenging the Prime Minister. The 80-year-old Maharashtra leader cannot be faulted for making one last bid to front an all-party anti-BJP grouping. Such fronts with negative agendas and little ideological and personnel cohesion and coordination have made little headway in the past. It is unlikely to meet a better fate this time, especially when its core, the Congress, is weak and fast decaying.
Of course, the confrontation between the Central government and the West Bengal government is unfortunate, reflecting the refusal of both to adhere to the spirit of federalism. But instigation from Pawar and others such as Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel can only aggravate the tension, not lessen it. At least in such official, sensitive matters, outside interests should be kept out.