Rahul Gandhi should talk openly with these 3 leaders for 2024
The meeting between Akhilesh Yadav and Mamata Banerjee is certainly not good news for opposition unity. If anything, it will certainly hinder the integration process. It may also frustrate the Congress campaign to corner the Modi government on the Adani issue. If Mamata Banerjee and Akhilesh Yadav had said that they are coming together to defeat Narendra Modi, it would have added a different flavor to the process of unity. But both openly criticizing the Congress and trying to distance themselves from the grand old party smacks of short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness. I have been saying for long that regional leaders today lack national vision and ideological conviction, unlike opposition politicians of the Congress era who belonged to smaller parties but were big in national stature. Those leaders had a national vision and were ready to sacrifice their small interests for a larger national goal.
No wonder then that in 1977, all opposition parties, barring a few, merged to form the Janata Party. He was driven by the conviction that to save democracy, Indira Gandhi’s dictatorial regime had to be defeated.
Today, that conviction is missing and self-interest is the prime motivator. This is the single most important challenge facing the opposition today in its fight against Modi and the BJP. Since the Congress is the single largest party in the opposition, it is duty-bound to continuously interact with the opposition leaders and convince them of the need for opposition unity. Since Rahul Gandhi is the leader of the Congress, taking on the opposition despite these odds will be a test of his leadership skills.
Congress, which has been accused of arrogance while dealing with opposition parties, Mallikarjun Kharge said in Chennai that the Congress is not stuck on leading the opposition front, when it offered a major climbdown. Responding to Farooq Abdullah’s statement, Kharge said that the Congress should not insist on the prime minister’s post, the opposition parties should put aside their differences and unite to defeat the BJP at the Centre.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Priyanka Gandhi at the Raipur session of the Congress when she said, “The world is watching us (the opposition) and opposition unity is needed to defeat the BJP.” Rahul Gandhi said during his visit to London, ‘There is a lot of coordination going on with the opposition parties and talks are also going on between them.’ He further said, ‘There are intricacies in many states, but the opposition is quite capable of discussing it and resolving it.’
These three statements by three top Congress leaders indicate that the Congress, as the party that ruled the country for more than five decades, is aware of its weakness and knows that it cannot defeat the BJP on its own. Sakti; Like the anti-Congress rhetoric of the past, anti-BJP rhetoric may be the only glue for opposition unity.
This political clarity was absent in the thought process of the Congress during the 2019 general elections. The opposition was a divided house. Each party was pulling in different directions. Rahul Gandhi was the president of the Congress, which had just won assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Rahul Gandhi was confident that Congress alone could give a tough fight to Modi, and he was proved completely wrong.
Not only the opposition but also the Congress was divided into factions. Big and old leaders did not have faith in Rahul Gandhi’s leadership ability. In fact, this is what Rahul Gandhi had said in his resignation letter after the election defeat – he is “fighting alone”.
It is also said that more than the BJP and the Modi government, it is Congress leaders who were instrumental in the whispering campaign that escalated regarding Rahul as “Pappu” (good for nothing). But now, Rahul Gandhi is a changed man and Congress is no longer a divided house.
People who underestimated Rahul Gandhi were in for a shock when he launched such an ambitious project India Jodo Yatra, Some doubted Rahul Gandhi’s completion Travel And others scoffed at the idea.
India Jodo Yatra Proved to be a ray of light in the darkness for the Congress. Skeptics and critics were surprised by the response that the Travel generated throughout. I am sure the Congress would have organized the crowd for the yatra, but the overwhelming response could not have been just the result of the party management. People actually came to see and meet Rahul Gandhi. It is no secret that the BJP initially tried to discredit the BJP Travel With their down promotion however they soon realized it could backfire on them so they stopped.
Rahul Gandhi is no longer “Pappu”. He has emerged as a serious politician. He has achieved this position himself with his hard work and honesty. Now the allegations of Haq will not be accepted by the people. This transformation of Rahul Gandhi from so called ‘Pappu’ to ‘Pandit’ is the only achievement for Congress.
Desperate to tarnish Rahul’s new image, the Modi government and the BJP are doing everything possible to paint him as anti-national.
Travel has also caused heartburn for many opposition leaders; The space many of them were struggling to occupy is no longer vacant.
It is no secret that Mamata Banerjee wanted to be projected as the prime ministerial candidate from the opposition. Nitish Kumar is another aspirant along with Arvind Kejriwal. Now it is the responsibility of Rahul Gandhi to break ties with these leaders and engage them in face to face talks for wider unity and convince them that leadership is not the issue, and the first priority should be to oust them from power. B J P.
There is undoubtedly some movement towards opposition unity. In this session of Parliament, more than a dozen opposition parties, barring Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, have not only met regularly and coordinated effectively on the Adani issue. Even KCR (K Chandrasekhar Rao) and AAP’s BRS, who were seen to be distant from the Congress till recently, have also become active in this exercise. They have silently accepted the leadership of Congress and Mallikarjun Kharge. This is a welcome sign of opposition unity, but the news from Kolkata may have dented this sense of unity and the BJP would have been delighted.
It cannot be denied that opposition unity has always been a tricky business and a tricky affair. This also takes time, but it is also an opportunity for Rahul Gandhi and the Congress to show their leadership and turn adversity into opportunity.
(Ashutosh is the author of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ and editor of satyahindi.com.)
Disclaimer: These are the personal views of the author.