By Devika Bedi
The role of an opposition party ranges from employing constructive criticism to uniting against a corrupt ruling party on reasonable grounds. After Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar resigned, to form a government with BJP, his party, Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) suffered criticism for opportunism and power greediness. It was unanimously pointed out by the opposition that the recent merger could lead to a euphemistic disqualification of a potential prime ministerial candidate that Nitish Kumar could be.
What lead to Yadav’s expulsion?
In recent developments, JD(U), under Nitish Kumar’s leadership, has experienced bitter notes with Sharad Yadav. Yadav has been an important party person and one of the initial politicians who helped form the party. He has now been removed from the post of leader of parliamentary affairs. He was expelled along with 21 other party members on 14 August. Party spokesperson, K.C. Tyagi maintained that Yadav had “no contribution to Bihar politics” and that he “has overestimated himself”. Yadav was accused of indulging in anti-party activities after he showed blatant disapproval of Nitish Kumar’s new ally. He faced ostensible rejection throughout the party and negligible support from the office bearers. Nitish Kumar told reporters that “As far as the party is concerned, it has already taken its decision. The decision was not mine alone and it was taken with the consent of the party. If he keeps a different opinion, then he is free to do so”.
Support for Yadav and his initiatives
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) was seen in full support of this distributary as many RJD supporters and party men came to receive Yadav at Patna airport. Others in support of Yadav include leaders from Congress, the Left, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Trinamool Congress and a few others. Facing heat from political kin, Yadav announced ‘Samvad Yatra’ and ‘Sajha Virasat Bachao Sammelan’ on the 17 August with the ethos of protecting and restoring the “composite culture” of the country. These moves hold support and participation of intellectuals, farmers, Dalits and leaders of opposition from across the country. “The ‘Sajha Virasat Bachao Sammelan’ (save composite culture programme) is not against anybody but in the interest of the country. This is in the interest of 125 crore people of the country” said Sharad Yadav.
Hard time for the opposition
Indian opposition as a whole is facing a hard time today. While some believe that it is falling prey to a dominant and muscular right, others believe that it is a part and parcel of a changing global order. It may also be a part of a larger power cycle that may be at its zenith right now. Nevertheless, Indian opposition must not give in to an identity crisis and must advocate for what is favourable and wise for the nation. According to leading journalist and academician, Tabish Khair, “the lack of real opposition seems to be a spreading global problem, undergirded by the corporate logic of leading capitalism and its enmeshment with nationalism”.
Fate of BJP’s political legacy
Along with meeting demands of a psychographically evolving Indian, BJP is now also responsible for ensuring political mileage and muscle to its numerous allies from across the nation. The fate of its political legacy is in a crucial phase. Effects of every decision will be multi-layered and more significant than ever. A drift within a drifted opposition is certainly a weak opposition. But is that really a concern? The opposition must find an alternative to ensure its significance, role and responsibility in a democracy. Creative and alternative ways to dissent may be invented in order to maintain qualitative democracy even in times of the apparent “Modi wave”.
Featured Image Source: Flickr
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