Jiby J Kattakayam
Opposition leaders appear to be coming around to the idea that resistance is futile against the Modi-Shah duo. In the past two days Mamata Banerjee has attempted to mend fences with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also met with Union home minister Amit Shah. In Chennai, MK Stalin called off his protest against Hindi imposition after meeting governor Banwarilal Purohit despite the opportunity to score a march over rival AIADMK. In Maharashtra, despite PM Modi ticking off motormouths on the Ayodhya issue, a subtle reference to Uddhav Thackeray constantly racheting up the issue, Shiv Sena has meekly responded that it expects a Ram Temple from the PM.
The Congress opposition to the government has been restricted to potshots taken by the Gandhi siblings – Rahul and Priyanka – on Twitter, which Modi won’t mind too much. A similar mood was in evidence in the country in the fourth months between March and July 2017 when BJP’s landslide victory in the Uttar Pradesh elections and PM Modi’s magical ability to sell the demonetisation narrative, despite its disruptive and debilitating impact, to the masses. That was the period when Nitish Kumar threw in the towel, junked the opposition, and hitched himself to the BJP bandwagon, just before the implementation of GST.
BJP has once again summoned the same domination of the national political narrative. The prolonged incarceration of P Chidambaram and DK Shivakumar has been met with barely a whimper of protest by Congress. BJP continues to get a free pass on the abrogation of Article 370, economic slowdown and NRC. The most vigorous debate in Congress in recent weeks was about praising Modi for his good moves. This is a good moment for Modi to draw the opposition leaders closer and bring them on board on restoring order in Kashmir and pursuing a new generation of economic reforms. The likes of Sonia, Mamata, Stalin and Sharad Pawar would only be glad to oblige the PM. Not doing so won’t cost the PM anything politically but earning approval and backing from the opposition will only raise his stature locally and globally.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.
via TOI Blog
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