Con­gress’ al­liance blues

Deccan Chronicle - - Edit -

Al­though Con­gress pres­i­dent Rahul Gandhi’s rally at the fa­mous Gandhi Maidan in Patna last Sun­day was re­port­edly an im­pres­sive af­fair, in the coali­tion era po­lit­i­cal power is won by mak­ing firm ar­range­ments with like-minded par­ties be­fore an elec­tion.

For the BJP this is less of a headache as the saf­fron party has tra­di­tional al­lies left in only two states now — Ma­ha­rash­tra and Pun­jab. A sloppy com­pro­mise with them can be struck with­out rad­i­cally al­ter­ing the party’s prospects in the next Lok Sabha elec­tion, free­ing the BJP to con­test the polls in most states on its own. It’s not so with the Con­gress.

The coun­try’s largest sec­u­lar party, even in its his­tor­i­cally weak­ened state, has two com­pelling con­sid­er­a­tions: It must win a fair size of Par­lia­ment seats in or­der to re­main in the race; and it must seek to for­mu­late tac­tics in a way that the BJP finds the go­ing tough,. In some places, this means con­trast­ing pulls be­ing at work. This is the Con­gress' great dilemma. In Bi­har, for in­stance, the talks with RJD are nowhere near be­ing sat­is­fac­to­rily clinched since these days re­gional par­ties are keen to be strongly rep­re­sented in Par­lia­ment. If the UP story is re­peated in Bi­har, the Con­gress will be forced on the back-foot over­all, in­stead of bat­ting on the “front foot”, that Mr Gandhi speaks of these days.

So far a proper al­liance has been struck only in Jhark­hand. In Tamil Nadu too, the Con­gress must work for some­thing sim­i­lar in or­der to be cred­i­ble.

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