Friday, December 1, 2023

Satya Column : Can directionless leaders of oppn parties form an alternative to BJP?

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Ahead of heralding the New Year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi experienced the saddest moment of his life: he lost his mother Hira Ben, with whom he shared inseparable bonds of love. Modi had been very close to his mother. Whenever he visited Gujarat, he used to taste food prepared by her and render paada seva to her. The great saint Aadi Sankaracharya, despite having become a hermit, performed the last rites of his mother.

Modi, who is leading the life of a yogi, too conducted the last rites of his mother as a duty. He commissioned the Vande Bharat Express and launched developmental projects worth Rs Rs 7,800 crore in West Bengal via video conferencing facility. Modi has never taken a rest in his political career. He is accustomed to working at least 18 hours a day. There have been many instances of Modi taking part in his official activities, forgetting about jet lag, after arduous and long air travel.

Political leaders of the country should emulate Modi. Eminent people like Gandhi-Nehru family members go on foreign trips for days together whenever they get an opportunity only to take a rest. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao whiles away his time for days together either in his farmhouse or in his Tughlaq Road residence in Delhi. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy, who rarely steps out of his official residence in Tadepalli, and KCR pale in front of Modi.

With the dawn of Year 2023, leaders of opposition parties have started dreaming of replacing Modi as the Prime Minister of the nation. Addressing the media in Delhi on December 31, Rahul Gandhi said that there was an undercurrent of opposition to the BJP across the nation. He called upon opposition parties to enter the fray efficiently with a plan to form an alternative to the BJP, saying it would not be difficult to defeat the BJP in 2024.

Rahul is speaking about Congress leadership at the national level. He says that the opposition parties need unified national policy, which is feasible only through the grand old party. Has Rahul forgotten having lost to Smriti Irani of BJP in his bastion Amethi? Has he forgotten that the Congress failed to even open an account in 17 states? Is he not aware of the fact that the Congress was in power only in three states in the country and that the Congress lost in all states where Rahul Gandhi undertook Bharat Jodo Padayatra?

Feeling insulted in Congress, leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia joined the BJP. Does Rahul feel that old horses like Digvijay and Kamal Nath would help Congress win in MP? Congress leader Jairam Ramesh has given a certificate that ‘real Rahul Gandhi’ has taken birth in national politics. Did Jairam win direct elections in his long career? Was it not due to his omissions and commissions at the time of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into AP and Telangana that the Congress was wiped out in AP and is trying to gain a foothold in Telangana?

Of course, anyone is free to daydream in a democratic nation. Janata Dal (U) leader and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has gone on record that it would have no objection to support Congress candidate as the Prime Ministerial candidate in 2024 elections. Congress leader from MP Kamal Nath remarked that Rahul Gandhi would contest as the Prime Ministerial candidate of opposition parties in 2024. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Rout felt that Rahul Gandhi would be able to effect a sea change in politics in 2024. In Bihar and Maharashtra, Congress was part of the anti-BJP alliance. No wonder the JD (U) and Shiv Sena leaders see a future PM in Rahul Gandhi. Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party in UP had refused to take part in Bharat Jodo Yatra along with Rahul Gandhi. BSP supremo Mayawati chose not to respond to the issue. All anarchist parties are joining hands in Maharashtra and Bihar, shelving their ideologies.

KCR of Bharat Rashtra Samiti is not able to say anything about joining hands with the Congress. The Left parties, which have almost faded out of national politics, are not able to join hands with the Congress.

What role will Congress play in national politics? Is it feasible to form an alternative to the BJP at the national level by directionless leaders of small and sundry political outfits, immature individuals under the influence of foreign culture joining hands with Rahul Gandhi? Have the people forgotten the outcome of people like Medha Patkar, Prakash Raj, and Kamal Hasan entering politics?

Medha Patkar, who had led several movements, joined Aam Admi Party in 2014 and contested from North-East Mumbai seat to win only 8% of the total votes polled. Who is not aware of how Prakash Raj unsuccessfully contested from Bengaluru central Lok Sabha seat in the last elections and forfeited deposit? Can Prakash Raj, who is not fit to win MAA elections, reverse his fortunes by joining hands with either Rahul or KCR?

In 2021, Kamal Hasan contested elections in Tamil Nadu with the help of his party titled Makkal Needhi Maiam and managed to win only 3.72 per cent of the votes polled. The party’s candidates lost deposits in all seats they had contested, according to Election Commission records.

If Rahul Gandhi, banking on those who blow their own trumpet, confronts a leader like Modi, people will decide what to do with such people.

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