In the 2019 general election manifesto, the Congress party promised that it will “repeal the Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC) Act and make trade in agricultural produce—including exports and inter-state trade—free from all restrictions.” However, when the NDA government actually brought those reforms, the party opposed it tooth and nail in both houses. The opposition MPs in the Rajya Sabha went to the well of the house, broke the mics, tried to physically harass the deputy speaker, and tore apart the documents on the table. This type of hooliganism opposed a bill which seeks to implement the promise made by the Congress party in its manifesto.
This kind of oppositionist approach against a bill that liberates the farmers from the clutches of politicians, bureaucrats, traders, and middlemen, is what is making Congress and many other opposition parties irrelevant. The people in any country like constructive criticism and well defined political positions but the Congress party supports one thing while in power and opposes the same when in opposition.
This attitude is making the party irrelevant as it could not win enough seats to bag the position of leader of the opposition (requires at least 10 percent seats) in Lok Sabha.
In the last 6 years, Congress has radically moved towards the left of centre positions on social as well as economic issues. To take on the Modi government, the opposition party did not hesitate in supporting anti-nationals and tukde-tukde gangs like Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid.
Moreover, the party questions the valour of India Armed forces when they carry out surgical strikes or pre-emptive strikes against Pakistan. It also supports the narrative that China is taking India’s land while at the same time NGOs controlled by its chairperson receive donations from the Communist country.
Apart from Congress, many other regional parties like SP, BSP, RJD and the Communist parties are descending into oblivion due to this approach. They are not learning any lesson from Communist Parties which opposed the issue of National Interest- Indo-US nuclear deal in 2008- for their petty political interests and ideological baggage, and ended up being reduced to a single digit in the parliament.
If the opposition parties continue this obstructionist approach and oppose important reforms like these agriculture bills- any policy analyst irrespective of political affiliation (of course except the Communist ones who have different issues in life) that this should have done decades before and Congress would have done the same if had been elected with full majority. These reforms have bipartisan consensus because the existing structure is rotten and in favor of small elites- the big farmers- but now Congress and other regional parties are opposing it for the sake of publicity.
And if they continue with this approach and take an extreme left approach at a time when young and aspirational Indians want the country to become a ‘Vishwa Guru’, they will become irrelevant like Communist parties in the next few elections. With a weak opposition, India would be under one-party rule- like Congress hegemony at the time of independence and next two decades or the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan which has ruled the country for 70 years out of 75 since 1945- for the next few decades.
The saffron party, BJP will achieve complete hegemony if the opposition does not change its ideological position and approach towards important reforms without which the country cannot grow at a double-digit growth rate.