After the no-confidence motion in Parliament, the election for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman post is the first occasion that the united opposition pitted against the NDA and the opposition is ready to embarrass itself once again. This election exposed the chinks in opposition’s armour. Three major regional players Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) sided with the NDA; and the PDP abstained from this whole exercise, as a result, this has brought down the majority mark to 121. Naveen Patnaik’s Biju Janata Dal from Odisha and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) from Telangana headed by K Chandrashekhar Rao are two parties which are not aligned with NDA or the opposition. Along with the combined strength of TRS, AIADMK and BJD now NDA is just four short from magic number-121.
Opposition's RS test; No unity, no numbers. Race to RS DY speaker chair. Gathbandhan's non-starter, Despite majority, no unity. Fence sitters tilt to government. BJD & TRS join the NDA fold. 'Bandhan' already undone? @Swatij14 #GathbandhanFizzles pic.twitter.com/mdk4ynAK84
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 8, 2018
Hardly a few months are left for the next General election and the so-called united opposition is not even remotely seems united. If all the aforementioned three players were serious about a united opposition or federal front, they wouldn’t be supporting the NDA in such a crucial election. If NDA wins the election for Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Post then it will benefit the government in the Rajya Sabha. It can be considered a trailer for the things to come.
It is now crystal clear that whether KCR and Naveen Patnaik join the BJP led NDA coalition pre or post 2019 elections, they are certainly not going to be the part of Congress-led united opposition or grand alliance. It implies that they will help PM Modi to become prime minister once again by winning more number of seats in Telangana and Odisha. BJD and TRS have no illusions about the ability, strength, intent of either the united opposition or Congress and that is why they have decided to support the NDA.
Two very strong regional players and non-NDA leaders who are likely to achieve a landslide victory in their states are now leaning towards NDA. This is a huge setback to the united opposition. Apart from Mamata Banerjee all other regional players are fragile and are on a shaky pitch.
The Congress party might have successfully brought a lot of non-NDA parties together, but the BJP showed better political and strategic maneuvers and managed to bring more parties into NDA fold. The election for Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha is a test of opposition and it seems that opposition is not likely to come out with flying colors. It’s just a shadow of the great game ahead of the crucial 2019 General elections.
This idea of opposition unity before the general elections is not a new thing in India. Earlier also various regional parties have come together to oppose a particular person and a particular party and the end result for such an alliance was always very predictable. During the 90s, the country suffered a lot because of the coalition governments. Most recent example of the collapse of opposition unity is the one that was formed in Bihar. It happens because parties come together to fight against a particular person or party without having any common ideology. This always becomes their undoing.