The opposition parties are all set to meet at Constitution Club in the heart of Delhi on 10 December, a day before the announcement of results of state assembly elections of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram. The results of these five state assembly elections will be declared on 11 December. The winter session of Parliament is also scheduled to commence on 11 December.
The driving force behind the opposition meeting is Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who has been ranting against the BJP since he took an exit route from the BJP led National Democratic Alliance.
According to media reports, the Congress President Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, former Union Minister Sharad Yadav, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav and many other leaders of the opposition parties are likely to attend this desperate get together facilitated by N. Chandrababu Naidu. According to a Hindustan Times report, UPA chairperson and former Congress President, Sonia Gandhi is also likely to attend the meeting.
It seems that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and President of Telugu Desam Party, Chandrababu Naidu is still not at peace even after breaking away from the NDA alliance over the issue of special status to Andhra Pradesh. First, his party, with the help of opposition parties introduced a no-confidence motion against the NDA government in the Lok Sabha, and now he his facilitating an all-party opposition meeting to check the BJP in the Parliament. One possible reason behind his act is that by countering the BJP at the national level, he is trying to project himself as the Rambo in his state in order to solidify the anti-BJP votes (predominantly Muslim) in Andhra Pradesh. His party is contesting elections in alliance with the Congress in Telangana, so he must be hoping that an act to show that the Congress and TDP are willing to take the bull by its horns, that is the BJP. It will give them some benefit in Telangana state assembly elections, as well as in 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress is popularizing the myth that TRS led by KCR is the B-team of the BJP. Secondly, Naidu’s ill-timed break up with the BJP is also not giving him the kind of political benefits that he must have been expecting, and that’s why he is resorting to such empty political stunts. The third probable reason behind the Congress’ nod to attend opposition party meeting could be the fact that it is already well aware of the fact that results of state assembly elections to be declared on 11 December are hardly going to bring any good news for the party. These state assembly elections of five states are being considered as the semi-finals, and it seems that the Congress is very well aware of its fate even before the announcement of its results, even when an inning is still left to be played on 7 December.
Overall, it seems that opposition parties in their get together are likely to strategize on how to halt the agenda of the BJP in parliament by disrupting the house. In the meeting, the opposition parties are also likely to discuss the strategy on how to corner the ruling NDA alliance on issues related to farmers, demonetization and the Rafale deal.
As far as the idea of the unity of opposition is concerned, this idea 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. The most recent example being Bihar where all political parties joined hands to fight a single party. It happens because political parties come together to fight against a particular person or party without having any common ideological ground which never ends well for any party.