Online Classes :- Current Affairs Part-3

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Congress’s best bet: Second fiddle in some states, lead actor in others

The possibility of an SP-BSP alliance in Uttar Pradesh for 2019 leaves Congress without a role to play in India’s most politically influential state. In other important states too, it has been reduced to a marginal presence: take Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. But Congress can still play a key role, akin to a catalyst in chemistry that gets otherwise inert reagents in a fragmented opposition to come together. In states where it is the main opposition party Congress must up its ground game, while gracefully sliding into supporting roles in the others.

For Congress all this is, no doubt, a comedown. But it needs to make peace with this reality soon. Otherwise Congress will keep making mistakes, like in Gorakhpur and Phulpur, where Mayawati offered support to SP candidates while Congress stayed in play, forfeited deposits, and exposed its grassroots weaknesses for all to see.

Only the Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Punjab Congress units have inspired some confidence but even these gains could be transient without a fresh narrative that appeals to voters. Similarly, Congress has to demonstrate to SP, BSP, RJD, TMC and BJD that have shown the ability to counter BJP that it can coordinate a joint front. Focussing its scarce resources where it is truly in contention while enabling allies and playing honest broker where it isn’t could be Congress’s best bet for the next general elections. Congress might look like a David compared to BJP’s Goliath, but it does have one card up its sleeve. While BJP is having considerable trouble with its allies – witness TDP promoting a no confidence motion against it in Lok Sabha – Congress probably looks more innocuous to potential allies at the moment.

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