Home Business INDIA Bloc Strikes With New Slogan “We, Not Me” To Defeat “I” Of Modi | Arabian Weekly

INDIA Bloc Strikes With New Slogan “We, Not Me” To Defeat “I” Of Modi | Arabian Weekly

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INDIA Bloc Strikes With New Slogan “We, Not Me” To Defeat “I” Of Modi | Arabian Weekly

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By Arun Srivastava

Alternative core positive agenda to counter the BJP in the next general elections will have the maxim “Main Nahin, Hum” as the pivot to take on Modi. Apparently, the insight behind coining this slogan is to counter Modi’s rhetoric of “my guarantee”, some leaders of the INDIA bloc confide that it underscores the significant shift in the Congress’s approach and attitude towards the fellow opposition parties.

The manner in which the Congress leaders had circumvented the issue of joint campaign and sharing seats within INDIA constituents in the assembly elections to Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, that eventually met with defeats in these three heartland states, had sent out an ominous message in the opposition camp that it had become the victim of the “me” first outlook. The Congress leadership in its bid to amend its past mistake and win the trust of the opposition leaders, has decided to do away with the word “me”. Congress in the changed situation plans, to move forward with the new theme – “Main Nahin, Hum” (We, Not Me).

The scheduled December 19 meet of the INDIA bloc not only strives to give concrete shape to seat-sharing schematics and chalks out the common programme to hold joint rallies, it would also set a new narrative. The new narrative would take its inspiration from success of Bharat Jodo Yatra. This has become imperative as the BJP political ecosystem has been making all-out efforts to prove it as an utter flop show.

Congress leaders also hold the view that negation of the Yatra will have adverse on the organisation and also dampen the fighting spirit of the cadres. The leaders emphasise that wrong strategy and state satraps neglecting the directives of the central leadership have been responsible for the defeat, not the narrative set by Rahul Gandhi through the Yatra. The narrative and the issues raised during the election are quite relevant. It is expected that during the next INDIA meet, as a matter of ideology and principle, the opposition bloc would commit for caste census and restoration of the Old Pension Scheme. The meet will also push for the demand for legal guarantee to MSP and social security for workers.

The issues that were at the core of Bharat Jodo Yatra, such as increasing economic inequality, social polarisation and political authoritarianism, besides price rise and inflation, will find resonance during the Lok Sabha polls. The most important issue that would be incorporated in the agenda for the Lok Sabha is projecting India under 10-year rule of Manmohan Singh. This aims at exposing the 10 years of negligence and ill-governance of Narendra Modi.

Ironically, some Congress leaders have started expressing irritation at an apparent remark by the late Congress leader and former President Pranab Mukherjee on Rahul Gandhi. Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmishtha in her book has quoted his remark, supposedly noted in his diary: “But the shameless manner the cronies of Rahul Gandhi are behaving would further damage the party.” Pranab had also observed: “Congress leadership must allow grassroots support to grow under the local leaders from Anchal/Block/Taluka level to DCC and PCC. If this happens, there will be no need to raise slogans like “Priyanka Lao, Congress Bachao”. The Congress leaders claim that this remark is aimed at hurting Rahul and his endeavours to revive the party at this crucial juncture. They argue that this will be used by Modi to malign Rahul.

The Adani issue will be the toast of the Lok Sabha election agenda. Though Rahul Gandhi has been the first victim of Modi’s ire for disentangling his relation with Adani, TMC MP Mahua Moitra’s expulsion from Lok Sabha and suspension of Danish Ali from BSP by Mayawati has also impassioned the political scenario.

Ali said Mayawati’s decision to suspend him was ‘unfortunate’. He did not do anti-party activities; instead, he raised his voice against the BJP-led government’s “anti-people” policies, asserting that he will “fight back” and not compromise on his principles. Danish Ali has been the lone opposition member to stand solidly behind Mahua at the so-called ethics committee meeting. Ali had walked out of Lok Sabha proceedings, along with other opposition members, to protest against the government’s motion to expel TMC member Mahua Moitra for “unethical conduct”. Other BSP members remained seated in the House.

The suspension of Ali makes it explicit that Mayawati would not go against the wishes of Modi. Ali was penalised for joining his voice with Mahua, who was targeting Adani. This action of Behanji is also an indicator that she would not side with INDIA, as was being speculated in the media and political circles. Incidentally, Mayawati had preferred to maintain deafening silence when BJP member Ramesh Bidhuri had abused him on the floor of the House in September this year.

The INDIA bloc would make a forceful effort to identify with the Dalits and tribal. The leaders have taken their shift to the BJP-RSS very seriously, inferring that RSS has been succeeding in a sustained manner to Hinduise the Dalits and Adivasis, a crucial step towards creation of the Hindu Rashtra.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge, nonetheless, has his intents clear that Congress will make torture and repression by the BJP into a major political issue. Kharge said: “The latest report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is not merely statistics, it is the BJP’s record of making the life of SC-ST community unsafe. Injustice, atrocities and repression are part of the conspiratorial agenda of the BJP of dividing the society in the last decade.” Kharge also shared a post that claimed that there has been a 46.11 percent increase in crimes against Dalits since 2013 and 48.15 per cent against tribals. Around 158 Dalits and 28 Adivasis are attacked daily in our country. 28,545 crimes were committed against senior citizens and 2,878 children were trafficked in 2022. To make the INDIA acceptable to the urban middle class, Kharge would strive to turn Congress a “strong voice” for the protection of human rights.

Pre-election alliances go a long way in explaining why the BJP lost the 2015 Bihar election. The alliance of JD[U] , RJD, and Indian National Congress defeated BJP in assembly election heralding the birth of Mahagathbandhan politics. The alliance leaders feel that it has to take the BJP challenge of religious nationalism head on. There is no doubt that loss of Congress has been gain of INDIA bloc. The opposition parties, which want a united fight against the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, have gained significantly following the Congress’s defeat in three states.

Most INDIA leaders, especially Mamata Banerjee, blame the Congress and its strategy for the rout in the three heartland states. She is on record to have said that Congress could have averted defeat if it had heeded their advice and worked out seat-sharing arrangements. Meanwhile, sources close to Nitish Kumar point out that the December 19 would prove to be crucial for survival of opposition in Indian politics.

The BJP has started adopting many centrist electoral strategies which ought to be effectively countered. The opposition leaders must come prepared with positive ideas and programmes. Other INDIA leaders also nurse the view that everything cannot be left on Congress leaders. (IPA Service)

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