Rahul emerges

He has shown that he can lead from the front

Ashok Bhan
Srinagar, Publish Date: Dec 12 2018 9:52PM | Updated Date: Dec 12 2018 9:52PM
Rahul emergesFile Photo

AICC President Rahul Gandhi is the principal challenger to invincible Narender Modi. He is a leader in whom masses in three Hindi heartland the bastion of BJP have placed their confidence and trust and to his leadership in Indian National Congress. It is proven that he has the power to influence and lead from the front the country through the democratic and constitutional process. The country expects Indian National Congress under him to undertake the unfulfilled task of building modern India, free of intolerance, hate and discrimination in 2019 general elections.

The united Opposition with pre-poll adjustments would gather and garner, at least, more than 65 per cent of the votes that did not vote for BJP in 2014 in a purported Modi wave. Congress party is making a common cause with like-minded and secular parties to defeat BJP. Congress president Rahul Gandhi has proved his astuteness, selflessness and political skills after Karnataka in the Hindi heartland of MP, Chatisgarh and Rajasthan. At the national level he is emerging as a uniting factor of Opposition before 2019 elections.

The elections performance in MP, Rajasthan and Chatisgarh has further convinced the combined Opposition especially the defeat of BJP its bastions that if the unity is astutely weaved without ego hassles, the BJP would face flak in 2019 elections. A united fight by opposition has set in a pattern of the people’s mood, anger and courage to vote against the failures of the BJP-led NDA government. Be it the unemployed youth, the farmers, the industry, the working and middle class and the minorities, all sections are hit hard and colossally suffering by steep price rise and economic slowdown.

The combined opposition that has been trying to stitch up a united front of non-BJP parties is positively euphoric to take on BJP in 2019 general election.

Rahul Gandhi is promoting the Congress party as protector of the voice and inclusive aspirations of people. He says, his party will always strive to lend political support to the people’s voice, and save the democracy, societal plurality, and the institutions. He attacks Modi model of governance as despotic and authoritarian and his slogan that “Chokidar Chor hai “has gained legitimacy because that has brought major failures in the economy of the country; consequently, the common people are suffering colossal hardships. His appeal to the people of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan to knock out BJP has finally endorsed his vision and persona as the Principal challenger and alternative to Prime Minister Narender Modi.He has set a final stage for 2019 defeat of the saffron party.

Rahul Gandhi has been leading the party for quite some time into the dust and din of mass politics. With his hard work, the passion to lead from the front and skill to weave political understanding with youthful leadership and like-minded secular parties, he has emerged as a consensus leader and the real alternative to PM Modi. Notwithstanding  the fact, that he does not have a level playing field with Modi. Rahul Gandhi has challenged Modi on his home turf in Gujarat and fiercely fought the electoral battle to bring his party neck to neck to BJP. Now Rahul Gandhi with his team has succeeded in knocked out Modi-Shah duo in their bastions.It is a major setback to invincibility of the Shah and his team.

The only mantra for Opposition to rest power from BJP in 2019 is to know how to hold together and to be focused.The recent elections results have established the leadership of Rahul Gandhi across the Country and its for him to lead and unite anti BJP parties and groupings fight together 2019 election with the focus to garner support of the notional 69 per cent population that did not vote for BJP in 2014 election and covert that to become real.

The political momentum has picked up and the next year’s early summer elections final has to set a pattern to commence now onwards after the outcome of assembly polls of Raja-sthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. Rahul Gandhi may have to call for AICC session and launch his fierce campaign and he has to be ideologically unflinching in his sharp criticism to Modi-led BJP government on its failing record on country’s economic management, social harmony, protection of the institutions and minorities, eradicating corruption, providing jobs to unemployed youth, and justice to farmers etc.

Indian National Congress after having ruled the country through UPA-1 & 2 for ten years, lost power to BJP by being reduced to 44 seats in Lok Sabha in 2014.The grand old party suffered a setback worst ever after 1977 elections. From 2014 onwards, it has lost elections after elections in majority of the states in the country.

The political campaign for 2019 elections has to centre around resolution passed besides highlighting the failures of NDA, manifest the failures of Modi government on handling the Kashmir situation. The Congress party is fine tuning positivity the main tactic of forging a “pragmatic alliances” with other like-minded political parties. It has reiterated its openness to the pacts without claim to leadership that determined in post poll situation. There is a dire need to prevent the fragmentation of anti-BJP votes. The United Opposition Party’s main poll campaign plank will be economy, the promise of growth, welfare, farmers, jobs and intolerance and failure in handling Kashmir affairs etc. The idea is to capitalise on the failures of Modi government to deliver “Achhe Din”. Congress and Opposition’s main constituency will have to be farmers, youth and women — the three of the most substantial demographic categories in the country.

Rahul Gandhi and the other leaders of the Opposition have to keep in mind that they still have a formidable adversary in Narendra Modi. At the same time anti-BJP narrative is gaining momentum and pattern with the electorate. A united opposition with pre-poll adjustments would have to garner the 69 per cent votes that did not vote for BJP in 2014 in a purported Modi wave. Rahul Gandhi has proved his astuteness, selflessness and political skills and has emerged as 2018 mascot. The coming electoral tests requires a touch of difference and out-of-box tact by Rahul Gandhi; only then he and his party could highly impact 2019 election mandate in India. In 2019 election, the electorate would have to choose whether Modi of 2014 was able to deliver on his promises. The vote will be either for Modi or against Him. The vote has to be positively for the idea of modern inclusive India versus divisive, intolerant and crony capitalism narrative foisted by BJP.

(Ashok Bhan is Senior Advocate and Chairman Kashmir Policy and Strategy Group)


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