Mahagathbandhan: More trouble for Opposition unity

New Delhi: Plans of an anti-BJP “grand alliance” (Mahagathbandhan) are tottering and even the idea of the opposition parties go to the Lok Sabha polls with a common minimum programme (CMP) appears not materialising.

A CMP as an alternative to the grand alliance could have enabled the parties to stake claim for formation of the government in case of achieving the majority to claim a pre-poll alliance, but the Left Front, including the CPI-M and CPI, have thrown a spanner. It has conveyed to the Congress that they will not be part of any opposition meeting if called for discussing a CMP.

The left’s argument is that a pre-poll CMP is unrealistic as the CMP is a governance agenda of the government and it can be drawn up only in a post-poll scenario.”We have conveyed to the broader Opposition our resistance to any idea of drafting a CMP. Every state has its own challenges that have to be factored in.

The Opposition already has a common agenda of defeating the BJP and therefore, the focus now should be on reaching the state-level electoral understandings,” said G Sudhakar Reddy, the CPI general secretary. The Left leaders were shown the first draft of the Congress manifesto that can be used for drawing up the common minimum programme.

They, however, said have no problem in the promises the Congress makes but it can’t become a CMP for all parties. Meanwhile, there is no word on the proposed Opposition meeting on the draft CMP that was supposed to be held this week. Instead, most parties are busy striking anti-BJP alliances.

Even in last Wednesday’s meeting, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu had urged Congress President Rahul Gandhi to consider allying with the Trinamul Congress of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee despite his state unit being in favour of a pact with the Left.

Mamata Banerjee is clear in her mind that the entire Opposition should show unity in forming the state-level alliances in a way that the dominant share of the Lok Sabha seats goes to the party best placed in a particular state to defeat the BJP. The Trinamul sources said Mamata finds the Congress is resisting the proposal and the blame will fall on its door if the anti-BJP unity fails.

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