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Mainstream, VOL LVI No 27 New Delhi June 23, 2018

Opposition Parties joining to defeat BJP lack Alternate Policies

Sunday 24 June 2018

by S.R. Darapuri

The BJP’s chain of defeat, which started with the Gorakhpur and Phoolpur in Uttar Pradesh by- elections, has extended to defeats in Kairana and Noorpur. It has broken the invincibility myth of Modi and Amit Shah. If the Opposition parties succeed in joining hands to get rid of the unprecedented danger to the basic democratic values, institutions, society, culture and civilisation created during four years of Modi rule, it will definitely be good for the country and democracy. But will it bring ‘good days’ for the public?

These parties do not and the ensuing alliance does not have any solution for the problems of starving farmers and the agricultural crisis; what are the policies for giving employment to the jobless youth, betterment of exploited classes: Dalits, Backwards, Adivasis and the women? The picture on this front is indeed hopeless.

During ten years of UPA rule under the leadership of the Congress anti-people policies were forced on the country. The Modi Government, which came to power by benefiting from the public anger against these policies, is speedily pushing forward the same economic and industrial policies. The crisis in public life is deepening and the deceptive Modi image created by the media is fast getting shattered on the ground. The divisive tactics adopted by the Modi-RSS combine to send the basic questions concerning various classes of society to the background are failing to create any popular public opinion.

It is obvious that the crisis is structural and the neo-liberal new economic—industrial policies have aggravated it further. The Congress has not given indication to withdraw from these anti-people policies and all of us have seen how much humanitarian was Manmohan Singh’s liberalisation with a ‘Humane Face’.

The other regional parties, which have been part of the UPA, are also followers of the same policies. Ajit Singh himself had been in the Cabinet. It appears to be an Uttar Pradesh-centred phenomenon only. The SP and BSP have been supporting UPA-2 from outside. Their State governments did not remain behind in supporting the new economic-industrial policies. Now if they succeed in 2019, the situation will not even be like UPA-1 where the New Economic Policies were slowed down under the influence of Left parties, some welfare schemes had to be launched and the public got some respite. It will be an extension of UPA-2. There will be no check on anti-people policies and not much relief can be expected for the public.

At the national level the situation is similar to UPA-1. The CPM has refused to have any political alliance with Congress. The so-called “BJP Harao Gathbandhan†(Defeat BJP Alliance) is dependent on Uttar Pradesh only where Samajvadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have been supporting the UPA Government from outside. But now are moving forward towards an alliance for the Lok Sabha election in spite of being staunch opponents in State politics. The alliance of these parties to defeat the BJP is without any political-ideological commitment and it appears to be more an effort to save their own existence

From the defeat of the BJP in by-elections it has become clear that the formation of the SP-BSP alliance in UP based on big social base is proving to be heavy for the BJP’s election power base and the BJP is not in a position to counter it immediately. But the SP-BSP alliance’s biggest weakness is its silence on public issues and absence of announcement of any pro-people agenda.

The people will not usher in “good days†simply by removing Modi from power. With an aim to defeat the BJP the powers of movements and people’s democratic forces along with the Congress, SP and BSP alliance should raise public issues and put forward a strong demand for withdrawal of anti-people neo-liberal economic and industrial policies.

The author is an IPS (retd.) officer and Organiser, Jan Manch, Uttar Pradesh He can be contacted by a website www.dalitliberation.blogspot.com

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