As India marked its 69th Republic Day, the opposition parties came together for a rally to ‘save the constitution’ in Mumbai. The Samvidhan Bachao rally which was attended by the entire spectrum of opposition was held against the government’s silence over alleged failing law and order situation, unemployment, farmers’ distress etc.
The opposition has for long tried to stitch an Anti-BJP alliance and this is just another attempt at the same. It is obvious that the Samvidhan Bachao Rally has been organised keeping in mind the 2019 elections, given that most attempts by the opposition to dampen the Modi-Shah effect have gone to the bin as the repeated BJP victories have proved.
The Samvidhan Bachao rally which started from Oval Maidan near the secretariat concluded at the Gateway of India in South Mumbai, covering a distance of about two kilometres. Those who were a part of it included Sharad Pawar, Sitaram Yechury, Hardik Patel, Omar Abdullah, Sharad Yadav, ex MP Ram Jethmalani and many other state leaders.
The mahagathbandhan or the grand alliance of RJD, JD(U) and Congress which defeated the BJP in 2015 Bihar Assembly election, made it clear to the opposition parties that only an alliance can save them from repeating 2014. However, when Nitish Kumar led JD(U) returned to BJP led NDA last year, it gave a severe blow to the opposition. Earlier, the attempts to forge a grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh had also fizzled out.
Dealing with so many blows, the opposition has once again come together to save the day. However, most of those who attended the Samvidhan Bachao rally on the Republic Day which is to be followed by another one on 29th January in New Delhi are those whose prime is behind them. The members of the ‘job applicant at 80’ group along with a few of those who have been cast away by the electorate do not have much left in terms of their political career, especially now when the people of the country have repeatedly put their faith in BJP.
This is also evident from the fact that the Samvidhan Bachao rally could not manage to even get a Twitter trend, let alone any media coverage. A rally through which they wanted to highlight the flaws of the current government became an evidence of their own fading lights.
Another significant point that needs to be considered is the day they chose for this street play. A day when the entire country was united in celebrating the spirit of the constitution and remembering with pride the history of independent India and its diversity, this bunch of out of work politicians decided to keep the petty party politics above the country and decided to display their contempt on that very day. Even though the rally was “to save the constitution”, it could have taken place a day before or a day later and anyway the effect could not have been worse.
So, these opposition parties can cry foul and try to unite for all they want, the fact remains that the opportunist alliances do not survive. It could not survive during the mahagathbandhan, it will not survive any time again.