Naidu Leads The Opposition Sprint

The political scene in India is hotting-up as only about a year’s time is left for the next general election to the parliament. It is somewhat difficult to digest for political observers that almost 47 months have peacefully passed without even a single scam in India since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister in May 2014. It looks like a walk over to prime minister Modi. That perception has made the opposition jittery.

They are trying to do whatever they can to “check/deter/stop/defeat” Modi in his mission 2019. They are best defined as “crowd” in the glossary of Urbanisation.

Like the crowd, they too have no “leader” at present. They are humouring themselves with the woolly idea of “collective leadership” or “co-operative leadership” which envisages rotating prime ministership going from party to party at pre-determined intervals. Unfortunately for them, the Indian voters think differently.

The efforts so far made have not gone beyond a loose alliance of parties opposed to Prime Minister Modi. Though not yet successful, they are trying to form a grand alliance of all like-minded parties opposed to Modi. The problem is that there is no glue available at present. Earlier the Congress Party used to provide that glue treated chemically by the communist parties and regional leaders like Lalu Yadav. Lalu is undergoing imprisonment for embezzlement of public money from the treasury and is unlikely to come out in the next 15 years. The Congress President is a young man with no significant experience in political affairs. Besides, his leadership of the alliance is not acceptable to many others. Mamata Banerji, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC (Trinamool Congress) has been pursuing the proposal most fervently, but nobody takes her seriously outside West Bengal. Sharad Pawar of the NCP has long cherished the ambition to occupy the chair of the prime minister of India without success. Mayawati of the BSP will watch from the sidelines the developments before playing her cards. Akhilesh Yadav of the SP (Samajwadi Party) is likely to come out openly but has no influence for the moment as the strength of his party in the Lok Sabha and state Assembly has gone down abysmally. The Orissa Chief Minister is unlikely to get involved in the alliance politics except to the extent necessary in the interest of his party and state. The DMK and AIDMK can play limited roles in critical situations in a confidence motion. The Chief Minister of Telangana has extended support to Mamata’s efforts, but whether he will accept her as his leader is doubtful. Nitish Kumar has not encouraged the alliance evangelists so far and is unlikely to go with them beyond superficial endorsement in case it becomes politically expedient. That has left Chandrababu Naidu of the TDP  (Telugu Desam Party)to fill the vacuum.

Chandrababu Naidu has played politics for very narrow interests. He was with the ruling NDA (National Democratic Alliance) led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is a seasoned politician. In spite of that, he had failed to stall the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. He was building a New Andhra Pradesh of the truncated old one and was a part of the ruling alliance at the centre. He has suddenly chosen to part ways on extremely flimsy grounds. He has not only withdrawn his ministers from the central government but the BJP too has withdrawn its ministers from his cabinet in Andhra Pradesh. His party has given notice of a No Confidence Motion against the Modi government as his rival in Andhra Pradesh, the YSR Congress Party, too had given similar notice prior to him. The ground is that the central government has not given Andhra Pradesh its due under the terms of the bifurcation.

It is facetious. Naidu was privy to the decisions of the Modi government. Modi is not a leader who would renege on sacred commitments. He doesn’t play cheap politics. He is one leader who is confident of himself and fulfils his commitment without any hitch.

Clearly, Chandrababu Naidu has been misled into believing that the need for a substitute for Narendra Modi has arisen and so he is positioning himself to claim his share in the power roulette. But he has underestimated the power of his opponents who had long been trying to depose him. The Congress Party especially has no longing for Chandrababu Naidu. That leaves him in the lurch worse than the zealous advocate of Modi Roko Squad Mamata Banerji.

Narendra Modi is so lucky that his detractors lose steam even before they can gather traction. The Indian Opposition Parties have never been in greater disarray as now. Ever since H. D. Deve Gowda managed to become the prime minister of India in fluid political situation in 1996, every politician has been dreaming of doing so at some time in the future.

But they forget that today’s India is radically different from the one of 1996.Today Narendra Modi is the most qualified leader to lead the country. People like Chandrababu Naidu have yet to establish their credentials to be entrusted with the onerous responsibilities of the prime minister of the country. Naidu has made the gravest error of judgement by severing connections with the NDA and withdrawing his ministers from the Narendra Modi cabinet and giving notice of a no confidence motion against the Modi government. It was the time for him to share the glory of a full term of good governance by a collective of clean leaders under the leadership of Narendra Modi. Instead, he has invited condemnation of the public in general for creating unnecessary uncertainty in the country and adding fuel to the embers of opposition fire.

The country is prepared to witness acts of treason in the Alliance Partners versus others, Alliance Partners versus BJP, BJP versus BJP, RSS versus BJP, RSS versus Modi. It is also prepared to face storm of fake news, malicious news, paid news, sponsored debates, commissioned social media barrage, engineered riots or violent agitations, scores of Cambridge Analytica kind spy onslaughts, gold or silver showers, tsunami of regional issues inflated to gain undue benefits like Special Status for the state or other untried artillery. What they fail to understand is that Narendra Modi is perched so high that they can not produce a leader to touch his shoulder even in the next ten years. That is where they will suffer humiliation.

In the process, Indian polity will be washed of the soot and dirt of politicians unsuited and their archaic thoughts. In the most unlikely situation of succeeding in capturing power, as they did in 2004, they would only be taking the country back by more than 35 years and repeat the horror of a corrupt and inefficient government (2004-2014). Only an ingenuous person would accept such an alternative.

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