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Opposition conclaves - raising hopes
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Opposition parties of the country have started deliberations on jointly moving against the Central Government which revels in crushing with a vengeance all long-cherished values of India as a nation and its people. The prime minister and his coterie ruling the country for the last seven years neither care a bit for the people nor hold any respect for the constitution, parliament or federalism – a fact constantly highlighted by civil rights collectives, activists and minority organisation leaders. Opposition party representatives have also at different times come forward to make similar responses separately, but they had not veered round to a collective thought that a united resistance is imperative against the ruling establishment which debilitates the country. The party leaders who had raised a call of protest against the first Modi government unitedly on the same forum with raised hands together had subsequently gone disparate by next morning and disparaged each other only to chart their own courses later. In a way that was what enabled the Sangh Parivar to grab power a second time with redoubled force and increased defiance. And that was followed by an unchecked spell of the ruling elite running roughshod over states, minorities, constitutional institutions, media and nearly everyone with a different voice; this dwarfed even the atrocious acts of the first edition of the regime. The butchery of Kashmir's privileges, the attempt to divide people based on religion and setting the ground for racial-communal atrocities and launching moves to uproot native farmers to pave way for crony capitalists, were all because of being emboldened in its second term.

Even when the population was gasping in the pandemic, the stalwarts of the ruling dispensation were focused on strutting around overtuning governments of the states and grabbing power. When they took sneaky pleasure by snooping with foreign-made spyware tools on the lives and activities of the country's public figures and those who held key positions, the common people were dying of starvation and disease. But the eyes of the government did not make a peep into those realities which would have been visible without any equipment and software, with naked eyes and open hearts. The supremacist approach of the rulers has gone to such an extent that they wouldn't allow even a discussion in legislative houses about their failures and pitfalls.

The probable driver for the Opposition leaders' nascent appetite for a united resistance is the realization that if the dominance of the current ruling elite continues, in the general elections coming up in 2024 it will cause mortal damage to the country's fabric. Within a span of a month, the national capital has witnessed three such crucial conclaves. First, under the leadership of NCP chairman Sharad Pawar, a Rashtriya Manch gathering of opposition leaders was held last month. The second was the dinner meeting convened by Congress leader Kapil Sibal. And then came the virtual meeting presided over by Sonia Gandhi on the birth anniversary of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi. The message conveyed by the series of opposition unity moves is that the party leaders are now convinced how dangerous for the country the current ruling dispensation is. The call for a concerted offensive against communalism was supported by frontline leaders of 19 parties, including four chief ministers. In spite of their divergent ideologies, they are seized of the pressing need of fighting together in order to ward off the BJP by upholding secularism. However, two key parties of Uttar Pradesh, - prone to be the playground of communal agenda and building up to assembly election next year - Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, could not be brought onboard these united fronts; this constitutes a weakness of the unity moves. Despite that, when leaders of 19 parties that have popular backing and strength declare in one voice that they need to set aside differences of opinion and party interests to fight together for national interest, that raises people's expectations considerably. As such, the leaders can ill-afford to waste any more time to see that unity is not confined to dinners and resolutions, but becomes a reality.

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TAGS:Opposition parties meet Pawar Sibal Sonia need for collective opposition SP BSP not on board 
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