Millennium Post

A renewed Congress vigour

A renewed   Congress vigour
The Congress party on Monday launched Save the Constitution campaign in the country. Ahead of the 2019 general election, Congress president is reinventing himself as a credible opposition to the BJP-led NDA government. He has been criticising the NDA government on a number of recent issues. Banking scam, fleeing of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, atrocities on Dalits and minorities including women and children, CBSE and SSC paper leaks have been his favourite issues to slam the Narendra Modi government at the Centre. From a reluctant politician to a virulent opposition, the transformation of Rahul Gandhi as a national leader is complete. He has to ensure that in the upcoming Karnataka elections, his party is able to take on BJP in right earnest. It is in this light that the Congress president's recent outburst against the government is worth watching out for. The Congress has accused the government of allowing big loan defaulters like Mehul, Choksi, Nirav Modi, and Vijay Mallya to escape from the country. He has also lent his support to Dalit outfits, which had called for an all India strike on April 2 against the dilution of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The strike was marked by violence in which more than 10 innocent people lost their lives. He has also taken up the issue of rape of children and criticised the government for doing nothing in the matter. The CBSE and SSC paper leaks also figure in his speeches against the government. Though Rahul's onslaught on the ruling party is still not very effective, his determination to lead Congress from the front and inspire the party leaders and cadres is making the news. His decision to lead a group of opposition parties to bring an impeachment motion against the Chief Justice of India has been criticised for bringing disrepute against the top-most judge of the country and the court. Though the Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has rejected the notice submitted for the removal of the Chief Justice of India, Rahul Gandhi has not let the things go. Congress has said that it will move to the Supreme Court against Naidu's decision to reject the impeachment motion. BJP has criticised Rahul Gandhi and said that Congress has been degrading vital institutions of the country including the army, Parliament, judiciary, CAG, and election commission. It also said that Congress is interested only in dynastic politics and it criticises any institution which tries to maintain an independent identity.
Rahul Gandhi is likely to continue with his attack on the government given the fact that there are Assembly elections at regular interval till the 2019 general elections in the country. After the Karnataka elections, Assembly elections are due in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan. In all the three states, BJP is in power. These states are politically significant as a major chunk of BJP MPs come from these states. Recent by-elections in these states have thrown up a disturbing mandate for BJP. In most of these by-elections, Congress candidates have won. Haryana and Andhra Pradesh will go to polls around the same time when the general elections are conducted in the country. BJP is in power in Haryana whereas it was part of the ruling coalition with Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in Andhra Pradesh. TDP has recently pulled out of the NDA on the question of special status to Andhra Pradesh. Both the BJP and TDP are charting out separate courses in the state. While TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu is focusing on his state and trying to ensure that BJP does not have a strong foothold in the state's politics, BJP is trying to wrest power from TDP. He is also part of the Opposition's unity drive, where regional leaders have proposed to form a federal front, a non-Congress and non-BJP political bloc.
As the opposition is trying to forge a grand alliance of opposition parties without taking the Congress in the fold, Congress has no option but to fight back for its due share in the national politics. Rahul Gandhi is doing precisely that.
Though BJP has criticised the Congress' Save the Constitution campaign, Rahul Gandhi must be given credit for bringing up new issues in quick succession. He has been able to put BJP under pressure on different occasions and issues. By accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being anti-Dalit, he has been able to expose BJP's non-performance on the Dalit issue. He has also linked the Dalit issue with the safety and security of minorities, women, and children. And the government is in a damage-control mode.

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