Wednesday, Jun 19, 2024 | Last Update : 09:33 AM IST

  Opinion   Edit  08 Apr 2023  AA Edit | Opp. must win war of ideas: Social justice is a good start

AA Edit | Opp. must win war of ideas: Social justice is a good start

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 8, 2023, 1:17 am IST
Updated : Apr 8, 2023, 1:17 am IST

Its compelling power was so strong that no party felt comfortable abstaining from it, making Mr Stalin achieve his first goal

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (PTI)
 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin (PTI)

The DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister, M.K. Stalin, has been working on a platform for all Opposition parties to board and unitedly take on the BJP-led NDA in the 2024 Lok Sabha election. He has unveiled its contours this week by organising a national seminar on social justice. All the Opposition parties were represented in the seminar. They deliberated on the key elements of our polity. These included social justice and federalism.

It is a fact that while individually every Opposition party, from the Congress to the Trinamul Congress and the Bharat Rashtra Samithi, would want to defeat the BJP, there is hardly a common thread that connects them. That most leaders who command a vote bank on their own and have the wherewithal to send a decent contingent of MPs to Parliament is an aspirant for the Prime Minister’s job is another factor that comes in the way of Opposition unity. The Congress believes it must be the natural choice for the pole position but most others would want to disagree, some politely and others not.

It is before this disparate group that Mr Stalin has presented the social justice platform. Its compelling power was so strong that no party felt comfortable abstaining from it, making Mr Stalin achieve his first goal.

The seminar came at a time when the battle lines for the 2024 elections are being drawn. Given its history, there is little doubt that the BJP will ride the Hindutva plank for electoral success, apart from banking on the communication skills of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It has also given indications that aggressive nationalism will be one of its election themes, as the PM himself has already started pointing fingers at “the foreign hand” for the trouble he faces at home.

The Opposition, especially the Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, tried its best to corner the ruling front on allegations of corruption in the Rafale fighter jet controversy in the last election but they came unstuck. In fact, corruption has ceased to be an election issue long back. Political slogans accompanied by enabling sub-plots are a must to win the elections.

It is at this juncture that Mr Stalin has revived the social justice plank, which brings to mind the heady days of the late eighties and early nineties when V.P. Singh, too, had put it to use by implementing the Mandal Commission report.

But Mr Stalin does not place social justice as an election point alone; he would want political parties and the people to weave their thoughts around it so that the contours of India’s polity can be redrawn. That the threats to federalism and the economic independence of states are key elements of his platform makes it a comprehensive fare.

Addressing the real issues that face the nation would be the best way to take on the BJP and the politics it practises. It is for the other Opposition to decide how to be part of Mr Stalin’s proposition.

Tags: trinamul congress, bharat rashtra samithi, hindutva, narendra modi, m.k. stalin