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Where's the leadership or the narrative of the united opposition for countering Narendra Modi in 2019?
Whether Nitish Kumar joins the NDA by parting ways with Lalu Yadav and splitting the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar or not, only time will tell. But Nitish has some realistic and strong suggestions for the united opposition if they want to really defeat Narendra Modi-led NDA in the upcoming 2019 general election.

Nitish has always emphasised that the united opposition must have a strong leader who can assimilate all opposition parties seamlessly and present a strong and credible counter narrative to challenge the narrative offered by Narendra Modi.

Noted psephologist and founding member of 'Swaraj Abhiyan', Yogendra Yadav has also said a number of times in various TV debates that the present Opposition lacks both the narrative as well as the leadership and if this continues, then BJP will again return to power in 2019 with a resounding mandate. The present voters of India are very aware and keep tabs on all dualities and hence can't be fooled.

The problem with the opposition today is that there is no nucleus around which other opposition/regional parties can settle. To essay the role of a nucleus, a party must have pan-India presence, or at least in two-thirds of the country. Although diminishing, but the Congress still fits the bill. However, the party lacks a central leader. Rahul Gandhi has proved more of a liability for the Congress time and again. And when there's no leadership, then there can't be a credible narrative. Let's discuss, how a casual leader like Rahul Gandhi has destroyed the narrative.

Whenever an untoward incident takes place, Rahul Gandhi chooses to visit the victim for a photo op based on the following criteria: a) The victim should be located in a BJP-ruled state; b) If not in a BJP ruled state, then hi/her location should be in an area which falls under the purview of the Central government; c) The victim must be from a community which can be treated as a vote bank, eg Dalit, OBC, Muslim etc.

This selective politics of dissent exposes the duality of the opposition. Just count the number of visits Rahul Gandhi has undertaken to meet and console Dalit victims. Although Dalits are victimised in every part of the country, but the Congress vice-president is ready to ignore most of these incidents if his above conditions aren't met.

Lynching became a common form of mob justice few decades ago which is a disgrace for our country. But only lynching incidents where victims belong to the minority community are focused. Junaid's murder is highlighted but Kartik Ghosh's lynching in West Bengal is totally ignored. Juniad Khan was killed because of a scuffle over seats in an over-crowded train, but it was presented as an act of cow vigilantism.

The Prime Minister, the RSS chief and many pro Hindu leaders (except extreme Hindu outfits) have although many a times advocated for a ban of cow slaughter, but at the same time have also said that to protect a cow, murder of human being is not acceptable.

Moreover, as per a news report published in The Indian Express, of all the incidents of violence related to cow protection reported between 2010 and 2017, 49 per cent of the victims were non-Muslims. Lynching is a brutal act and all criminals must be punished severely. But what is wrong is to highlight selective cases for propagating a fictitious perception.

Now let's consider the recent attack on Amarnath yatris. Rahul Gandhi vociferously said that the policies of Narendra Modi were responsible for the death of innocent pilgrims, clearly pointing towards the BJP-PDP alliance. As an opposition leader his allegations should have carried much more weightage, but his duality came at the fore. It was the Congress which had tried the hardest to form an alliance with the PDP. It had previously too formed a government along with the PDP. The founder of PDP Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was a former Congress leader.

Now let's see why aligning with the PDP is being questioned. PDP is known to have a soft corner for the separatists, Pakistan and even local terrorist leaders. But due to its alliance with the BJP, it has not been able to show much support to those anti-nationals.

On the other hand, the National Conference has been openly supporting the separatists, terrorists and Pakistan. Not only that, NC leader and former J&K CM Farooq Abdullah even went to the extent of asking Indians whether Kashmir was their father's property. However, Rahul Gandhi while blaming the PDP, forget to make a mention of Farooq Abdullah and his own leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar who had led a delegation to undertake talks with the Hurriyat leaders. So what is Rahul Gandhi's answer?

The flip-flop on Rahul Gandhi's meeting with the Chinese envoy too raises questions. Although, an opposition leader meeting with the Chinese envoy should not be a matter of concern for anyone, but what raised suspicion was a denial first and admission later? Earlier, another veteran Congress leader Salman Khurshid had visited Pakistan and asked for their help in removing Modi.

To conclude, I can only say that Rahul Gandhi can't lead a united opposition, as he can't offer himself as an alternative to Narndra Modi. Sonia Gandhi could have become the face of the united opposition but due to some unknown reasons she chose not to. That leaves Nitish Kumar as the sole candidate despite his limited regional influence. However, if the united opposition projects Nitish Kumar as the prime ministerial candidate, he could be a good match for Narendra Modi. Nitish Kumar has already proved his mantle as a good administrator and a reasonably honest man.

But would the sycophant Congress leaders agree to it?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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