The latest to join the Opposition bandwagon is the CPI(M) which has issued an appeal to the Congress to oppose the bill.
The campaign by the AAP to defeat in the Rajya Sabha the bill to replace the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Ordinance, overturning the Supreme Court order handing over the legislative and executive powers over administrative services in the national capital to the elected government in Delhi, could very well turn out to be the touchstone of Opposition unity in the country. The latest to join the Opposition bandwagon is the CPI(M) which has issued an appeal to the Congress to oppose the bill saying inter-party differences may be set aside as the ordinance attacks the fundamental values of the Constitution.
It is fact that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with 110 members in the 250-strong House with seven vacancies is short of majority. The dynamics of voting could be different and the Bill could still get past the House. However, the issue of protection of the federal structure of the Constitution offers the Opposition a worthy platform to come together besides that of social justice advanced by DMK president and Tamil Nadu chief minister M.K. Stalin. It will be everyone’s case that elected representatives get the power to do justice to their responsibilities.
The national leadership of the Congress is indeed under pressure from its units in Delhi and Punjab where it lost to the AAP in their struggle for power not to oppose the bill when it is brought before Parliament. This is part of a pattern — the national leadership of the party has been consistently opposing the misuse of the investigating agencies by the Union government but its state units are not on board when the party is in Opposition, as in Delhi and Kerala. It is time the Congress, by far the strongest of the Opposition parties, took the leadership role in uniting the Opposition forces on fundamental issues that will help it create a national narrative to place before the people.