Mamata’s rude shock to Congress
With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee saying that there is no UPA, a political storm is brewing in Congress. This fight between the Sonia family and Mamata Banerjee is really about the basic question: Which is the real Congress? The Congress occupied by the Sonia family or the Trinamool Congress of the group that broke away from it? The Sonia family is telling that their Congress is real Congress and Mamata Banerjee is telling that her Congress is real Congress. But a question can be asked that Mamata Banerjee had parted ways in 1997 with a section of Congress, then why does she claim to be the real Congress after so many years? In the meantime, she has also been cooperating with the Congress of Sonia family in one way or the other. There could be only one reason for this. Mamata would have felt that considering the deteriorating day-by-day condition of the Congress, perhaps the Sonia family would free Congress from its clutches. In this campaign of Mamata Banerjee, other factions that have separated from Sonia Congress are also slowly joining hands. Mamata Banerjee’s meeting with Sharad Pawar can be said to be important in the direction of this campaign. Besides, a big pillar of Congress in Goa, the former Chief Minister Filario has come together with Mamata. Senior Congress leader Santosh Mohan Dev’s daughter Sushmita Dev has also stood by Mamata.
Against this backdrop, it is apt to say that all the country over, Congress has been ceding space not to opposition parties but to its so-called allies, some of whom are former Congressmen. Its umbrella vote bank of backwards has gone to Yadavs in UP and Bihar, Dalit vote bank to the BSP, and so on. Yet unmindful of the grassroots-level reality, it is allying with the same parties for short-term electoral gains in election after election, and look, where it stands today. For the Congress to rejuvenate itself and project as a credible alternative, it has to do two things: one, permanently cast away the bondage to the “family”; two, unmindful of the short-term pain, the new and capable leader should work sincerely to get the party growing from the grassroots level. Having said this, the split Opposition in the country is striving hard to chalk out a way to counter Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s powerful Bharatiya Janata Party. In this perspective, it cannot be gainsaid that projecting a single party as the common enemy to forge Opposition unity has been problematic in India’s multi-party democracy since Independence. Remember Sanyukta Vidhayak Dal governments in the late 60s and Janata Party government in 1975–Both ran short-lived governments. Besides this fact, the Indian voters have tested the seven and half years of good governance of Narendra Modi, his development plank, and top-notch diplomacy. If one interprets the response of the Indian electorate towards a roaring Narendra Modi, then it is impossible to find a leader of his standing in the present scenario, who can lead the nation in 2024.
By Deepak Kumar Rath