Stealing a march

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/9/2018 11:51:55 AM IST

 BJP has chosen to fire the first election salvo by claiming that it will not only return back to power but would do so with a bigger majority than the 282 it won in 2014. This itself shows that the BJP has shrewdly seized the opportunity to send a strong message to the sleeping and disarrayed opposition parties who continue to talk but do nothing to bring about their so-called mahahathbandhan or grand alliance. It also means that the Modi government has strategically chosen to attack in order to defend its policies which have come under constant attack from the opposition. The BJP’s boast is understood because it also likes to play the mind game with the disparate opposition parties. Rather the message may be taken with a pinch of salt in the light of the mood of the nation today against ever rising prices of petrol and diesel causing sharp rise in commodities, downslide of the rupee to the dollar, rising unemployment, LPG prices, exorbitant bank service charges, loss of lakhs of jobs due to demonetisation and bankruptcy of several thousand SMEs. Of course the Rafale deal is still under cloud so long as the government of the day refuses to hold a JPC to explain why the cost shot up from Rs.650 crore to Rs.1600 crore per plane. What the Congress and other opposition parties need to admit is that they have consistently failed to wrest the advantage of putting the government in the dock due to lack of consistent strategy and coordination. Now that the BJP has already prepared its blueprint and even identified candidates for 2019, the opposition will continue to only respond while the ruling party attacks the latter over their inherent differences. The opposition is till yet to agree to form the mahagathbandhan while some of those who proposed it like TRS, BJD and AAP are not on the same page. Even the major opposition party-DMK- is no longer what it was when Karunanidhi was alive owing to sibling rivalry between party president Stalin and rebel leader Alagiri. The Congress and NCP have also not done anything to form an alliance beyond their speeches. Even the Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have not progressed beyond their remarkable by election wins in Phulpur, Gorakhpur and Kairana. However, even the BJP has some headaches of its own with regard to the mood within its allies like the Shiv Sena, JDU and lately the PDP(J&K) with whom it is in alliance with. The Shiv Sena resents being treated like a junior partner in Maharashtra and has even threatened to go it alone in 2019. The JDU in Bihar is also not very enthusiastic after the recent bypoll results in Jokihat which RJD won by a huge margin against the JDU. The PDP is now incensed at being abandoned .The opposition has to immediately decide whether or not to have an alliance. If there is no alliance then the parties will have to ensure that the BJP does not benefit due to fractured votes. The other issue of leadership of the proposed alliance is going to decide how far the proposal would go. Even the media, especially the electronic have got into the game of guessing and speculating and convincingly dubious.

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