-Dr. Mohammad Aleem
As the forthcoming election of 2019 coming close day by day, the speculation about its outcome is getting ripe also. There are different views and varied opinions. Some say that it will not be easy to defeat the BJP in the electoral battle because it has a charismatic leader like Narender Modi, who is still very popular among his trusted voters and supporters and has the solid backing of the RSS, though, he has disappointed them a lot on many fronts like economic, social and even political.
There is another group which sees his defeat imminent. And they have their own reasons to believe. They say that if the opposition parties get united like a solid rock wall, then, it will surely force the BJP to lick the soil of its own feet. But the question arises here that will the opposition keep united till the last moment of the election or it will disintegrate like a pack of cards in no time, because, it is not a humongous group of the parties with similar thoughts and ideals, but a group of politicians with their own ambitions, vested interests and priorities. If we go by examples, it looks much bleak and less bright. What happened of late in Bihar when Nitish Kumar left RJD so abruptly and arbitrarily that it even disintegrated the JDU in two factions, one led by Nitish Kumar and another by Sharad Yadav.
If the whole opposition, that mainly comprises the Congress, RJD, BSP, SP and some parties of the South like Telugu Desam comes together with a common minimum program of governance, then, somehow, it can succeed to a level. But it is also a fact that all the past experiences are enough to negate it. Never in Indian independent political history could the opposition run the country successfully for a longer period of time if it was led by small parties. Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh could run the successive coalition governments because it was led by the Congress and the BJP. Both parties have their national level identity and power to keep small parties together with them.
So, the point comes naturally is if these two big parties play the role of unification as a primary force, then, it can happen, not otherwise altogether.
There is a calculation that if the BSP, SP and RLD put a united fight in UP, then, the whole scenario will be automatically changed. But it will be interesting to see that till what time and on what conditions this alliance will go on and survive. We know how mercurial Mayawati is and how other leaders also have their own big ambitions to govern both at the state and the national level.
I happened to be today to a newly opened Coffee shop at Shaheen Bagh, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi. There I met an old Congress Party leader who enjoys some clout at the local level. My first question to him was that would your party forge an alliance with the AAP in Delhi or elsewhere in coming elections. His answer was emphatically “no”. He said, “We will not like to forge a tie with this party at all.”
I asked him curiously, “why?”
He replied, “This is the party which inflicted the deep damage to the Congress party in the recent years. It was during the Anna movement when Arvind Kejrival very shrewdly organized a mass campaign against the corruption charges of the Congress Government led by Manmohan Singh. And it proved fatal. It changed the whole perspective of the electorates towards the party.’’
He further added, “Do you know, that whole movement was funded by the RSS and the BJP?”
I got baffled to think that how on earth it could be true. These days, the main fight of the AAP is with the BJP. Was the Anna Hazare movement really funded and supported by the RSS and the BJP? It seems so a bit, because, as Arvind Kejrival came to power in Delhi and the BJP at the center and some other states, old Anna Hazare disappeared from the scene as India became hundred per cent corruption free under the Narender Modi Government fully supported by the RSS.
I asked the fellow, “Will it not hamper the chance of the opposition alliance against the BJP because AAP has some considerable clout not only in Delhi, but in Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan also?”
He says, “If you take my opinion, I will not agree to make an alliance with the AAP at any cost.”
It left me confused to think that will indeed the opposition alliance work against the BJP in the coming elections or prove a futile exercise.
Mohammad Aleem is an award winning novelist, playwright, scriptwriter and journalist.