Shaky Opposition’s fresh take on unity, to launch campaign against Modi govt | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Shaky Opposition’s fresh take on unity, to launch campaign against Modi govt

A countrywide campaign against the policies of the NDA government is likely to be announced at the national council meeting of the “real” Janata Dal (United) led by Sharad Yadav.

india Updated: Oct 08, 2017 07:58 IST
Srinand Jha
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is expected to announce a countrywide campaign against the policies of the NDA government.
JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav is expected to announce a countrywide campaign against the policies of the NDA government.(Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

Another attempt to bolster the fragile idea of Opposition unity will be made on Sunday, with plans for a countrywide campaign against the policies of the NDA government likely to be announced at the national council meeting of the “real” Janata Dal (United) led by the Sharad Yadav faction.

While the Opposition camp has been talking about unity, the regional parties have witnessed a series of implosions in recent months.

The crisis within the Samajwadi Party (SP) appears to have reportedly been papered over, but the AIADMK has been threatening to split in three parts, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader Mayawati has been struggling to retain her hold over the Dalit support base. The JD(U) split after Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar’s decision to break the “Mahagathbandhan” government in Bihar and align with the BJP.

In past months, Yadav has attempted to rustle together an Opposition front by convening a series of ‘saajha virasat’ meetings, but the complicated issues on the unity remain unresolved.

The BSP, for example, is unwilling to take the unity bait at this stage. Leaders like Ajit Singh of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) and Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) continue to be regarded as slippery customers. Regional party satraps are also apprehensive that moves to align with the Congress could help strengthen India’s grand old party, while weakening the regional outfits.

“There are issues, but these will blow over in the months leading to the 2019 general elections. Unity is no longer a desired objective; it is an imperative. Unite or perish is no longer a slogan,” rebel JD(U) MP Ali Anwar Ansari said.

Past record of Opposition unity attempts have been unconstructive. With the exception of the Lalu Prasad’s Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Samajwadi Party, all regional parties have done business with both the BJP and the Congress in past decades.