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The Lame Opposition

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 21:54
Sushmita Dutta
Sushi's Musings

When onion prices skyrocketed, the opposition made sure that the BJP government had tears in its eyes and ultimately it had to vacate the seat of power for the Congress to take over the reins. The slogan of ‘India Shining’ had backfired and the opposition used it to forward its gains.

In the last few years of the Congress rule, it has been evident umpteen numbers of times when it should have been taken to task by a very strong opposition to answer for their mistakes. Prices of essential commodities like vegetables, fuel etc. have been pinching people hard. The tsunami of corruption cases has been massive in UPA II, as has been its slack attitude towards dealing with Pakistan. While the government is least bothered about handling these issues, BJP seems to have been sleeping. It is really a pity to watch such a weak opposition.

The ruling party Congress has been knee deep in corruption, especially in its second term. It was shamelessly pocketing huge amounts of treasury and national pride during the Commonwealth Games. Kalmadi and Co. have filled their coffers with people’s money to the brim. The 2G scam has exposed the greediest face of the UPA’s power hungry gold diggers. But have we ever thought how the UPA government never gave the country any answer? Where have the clean Prime Minister, the power woman of the Congress and the corruption fighting Baba disappeared? This is because the Opposition in Parliament, the BJP has not been able to take the government to task. The political arena is never been so bereft of a real Opposition.

Their utter failure to act as a responsible and strong counter point has helped loosen the noose around UPA’s neck. Other than making the government bow down to Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), BJP has been a frail sideshow.

More recently, Anna Hazare’s fight against corruption and Baba Ramdev’s crusade against the huge stash of black money in foreign countries shows BJP’s inability to take the government to task and prove its mettle as a responsible opposition. The fight which Hazare started should actually have been picked up by BJP.

As a last minute effort, the BJP now has finally woken up and is trying hard to hitch onto the Ramdev bandwagon. But time has lapsed and they need to come up with something new.

Is it possible that BJP is going soft because it fears its own skeletons when it comes to black money? Otherwise why would BJP not come out with full force on such a mouth-watering topic?

It appears that the opposition bench has been reduced to a bunch of mute watchers without any claws to nail the UPAs misdoings. Personalities like Hazare and Ramdev have only come to the forefront because a big void that has been created by the BJP itself.

So pathetic is its condition that in the present scenario, if General Elections were to be held, they have no face to present as their Prime Ministerial candidate. After Vajpayee and Advani, the party seems to have just fallen apart. Once called the ‘party with a difference’, it has become an indifferent group. Internally the party has become extremely unstable with no clear leaders to lead it from the front. The likes of Nitin Gadkari are just not clicking. In the party itself, there has been a huge tug-of-war between leaders like Arun Jaitley and Swaraj.

Such is BJP’s condition that it has had to bring back the once ousted ‘sadhvi’, Uma Bharti, who had left the party after a verbal spat with their icon LK Advani in full public glare.

At a time when people of the nation are reeling under spiralling inflation, the nation wants a party that can bail us out of the mess.

Is the BJP listening? If they can pin the government down effectively, who knows maybe it could see itself power in the next General Elections. But for this to happen, BJP needs to respond to the clarion call now, and not keep hitching on to others bandwagons.

First Published: Saturday, June 18, 2011 - 21:54

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