Millennium Post

Anna-lyse Mamata and stand to gain

Increasingly, the idea of a Federal Front is stepping out from clouds of ephemeral political musings and taking concrete shape. With Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee meeting the Gandhian from Ralegan Siddhi, Anna Hazare, the possibility of its formation is gathering momentum, bringing together an honest leader and an anti-corruption crusader, who had galvanised the youth and middle-classes to reclaim the streets and overhaul the government. Since the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) dispensation has lost both the game and the credibility, becoming easily the most corrupt regime in the Centre in post Independent India, and the BJP-driven National Democratic alliance (NDA) is still battling its hardline demons, fanning particularly the virulent viruses of Hindutva-laced crony capitalism, there is a definite need for a new arrangement of political thought and ideological affiliation. Given that regional satraps are now ever more powerful than before, calling the shots and pulling the strings decisively in their states, federalism is gaining ground in India and gradually becoming a force to reckon with. Hence, the alternative to the traditional bipolarity of Indian politics is an organic acceptance and paving way for a coalition of these provincial honchos, who represent local aspirations married to bigger developments nationally and globally. In fact, a spirited offence against and resistance to the centrist marauding and hijacking of regional ambitions, playing off one state against another to gain electoral brownie points, is required more than ever, given that the time is ripe for a politics of difference, commitment, engagement and transparency.

In the wake of the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party and its myriad victories – symbolic and political, the stage is set for a Federal Front that could have honest leaders like Mamata Banerjee wrenching the fort from the clutches of the thoroughly discredited UPA, without allowing the reins to go to the other side of the coin, the NDA. Evidently, neither the UPA nor the NDA can ideally satisfy an electorate of more than 800 million people. The umpteen number of scams aside, the despicable and utterly callous manner in which the Congress-led UPA handled the Telangana issue, carving out a new state right before the general elections is nothing more than the cold calculus of some pre-poll vote-catching exercise. Clearly, the Congress and politics of divide and rule has plagued the country for too long, batting for the rich in the garb of promoting pro-people causes. In fact, the poll math spells out that both BJP and Congress will fall short of the halfway mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha even with their traditional allies. Moreover, at least 200 seats fall in states that have been conventionally non-Congress, non-BJP, a reason why a Federal Front, is strategically feasible, given that a coherent ideology and a manifesto is chalked out. With Anna Hazare lending his support to Mamata’s clarion call, it is likely that a huge middle-class and disgruntled with UPA rule electorate will, in all likelihood, vote for an alternative that is not gimmicky and can be expected to deliver.
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