'It’ll take a minimum programme to unite the Opposition'

Attacking the Prime Minister is not going to be enough to bring the Opposition together. A minimum programme and a clear understanding of post-poll commitments is necessary

Opposition leaders at a rally in Kolkata in 2019 (Image for representational purpose)
Opposition leaders at a rally in Kolkata in 2019 (Image for representational purpose)
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National Herald Bureau

Ahead of the Congress party’s 85th plenary session in Raipur (24-26 Feb), we asked a bunch of political observers how they see the road ahead.

Senior journalist and author Arvind Mohan feels attacking the Prime Minister is not going to be enough to bring the Opposition together. A minimum programme and a clear understanding of post-poll commitments is necessary. Read on:

The Congress seems to have found some bounce from the Bharat Jodo Yatra. How can it build on this positive momentum?

One way to capitalise on the positive momentum of the Bharat Jodo Yatra is for the Bharat Yatris to reconnect with people, people’s representatives and organisations they met and interacted with en route.

That channel of communication must be kept open. Equally important is to set small but specific goals for each group to build on the favourable momentum of the Yatra.

The Congress also needs to publicly address its past failures even while recalling the achievements of the UPA government. It also needs to play up its connect and commitment to thousands of civil society organisations and NGOs.

Many well-intentioned critics say the party organisation needs to be revitalised. How?

Congress leaders know best what the party’s organisational weaknesses are. While it is usually counter-productive to usher in big, knee-jerk changes in the organisation, periodic and transparent evaluation of performance, if necessary by outside agencies, making both leaders and workers accountable, will help build confidence.

Do you see the Opposition coming together for Lok Sabha 2024? Can the Congress be the fulcrum of that Opposition?

The slogan ‘Modi Harao, Modi Hatao’ and attacking the Prime Minister is never going to be enough to bring the Opposition together. A minimum programme and a clear understanding of post-poll commitments may be necessary to unite the Opposition.

Attempts should be made to rally the Opposition on demands for electoral reforms and to develop an issue-based consensus on the big political sticking points.

For example, the Opposition should speak in one voice on unemployment, economic reforms, social welfare and security besides addressing the concerns of Dalits, Adivasis, women and the minorities.

ARVIND MOHAN is a senior journalist. He has authored several books on Mahatma Gandhi

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