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People are not pro-Modi or anti-Modi. They are more concerned with the performance of the Government

*By Adv Masood Peshimam

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari while touching upon the differences between Shiv Sena and BJP dubbed the differences as minor irritants “like (those) between husband and wife”. Gadkari even said that he is ready to mediate between them if the party desires. To Gadkari the differences are of transitional nature which would not lead to divorce. Both the parties are sharing the same space of Hindutva vote bank practising the saffron politics though denouncing each other with all the feverishness.
Sena loses no opportunity to attack BJP with the character stick hostility which has the potential to split. The question is can this split be averted if Modi brings in the Triple Talaque Bill in whatever way in its undiluted form much to the embarrassment of Muslims. Both the parties are involved in the brazen competitive communal politics never starved of the subject to spread the hate ostensibly for the reasons to occupy better electoral space. Hence their interests are better served if some sort of agenda unpalatable particularly to Muslims is experimented with.
It’s the contours of power which has made both the parties hang together despite they remaining at loggerhead for pretty long. Shiv Sena has never shown the big stomach to tolerate any situation anomalous in which it can target its Senior Partner. No day passes when Samna, the mouth piece of Sena does not strike discord with the BJP’s moves and track record at the State level or the Centre. The surgical strike of the BJP Government’s lack of performance at the State or the Centre is blatantly manifest in Sena’s mouth piece "Samna".
In the recently concluded Palgarh Election in Maharashtra where BJP’s Rajendra Gavit, a former Congressman who defeated Sena’s Shriniwas Wanga the strain in the relations between the two saffron allies was very pronounced.
During the election campaign the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is learnt to have advocated the use of “sam, daam, dand, bhed” to win the bye poll. The use of these words has triggered another round of bickering between the saffron allies. Sena has accused Fadnavis of provoking BJP workers into a face off with its cadres to win the Palgarh by poll by means fair or foul. Fadnavis insisted that his ally has “twisted” the content of his speech.
Sena leader Anil Prab has demanded that CM’s audio tape be examined by forensic experts. Prab demanded the resignation of CM Fadnavis if found guilty.
With the Palgarh electoral outcome going in favour of BJP the Sena continued its attack over BJP.
Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackrey chose to blame the discrepancies in polling for his party’s defeat in Palgarh and demanded a recount. In his no holds barred attack Udhav said that pathetic electoral show in the Country showed that the downfall has begun. He also praised the people of U.P. for killing UP CM Adityanath’s arrogance in Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana.
The relations between Sena and BJP are quite acrimonious always running into rough weather. However Gadfkari has his own logic to see the sharp exchanges between the two as minor irritants bringing them into the ambit of husband wife relations.
BJP Sena despite losing all the grace in their mutual interactions with intolerant diatribe against each other have not forsaken each other in the Government and would not forsake each other. The reasons are obvious.
While seeking the matrimonial feature in the bilateral relation between the two saffron allies Gadkari came down heavily on those opposing the Ahmedabad Bullet Project. He dubbed the Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project immature politics. It’s not understood as to how the Ahmedabad Bullet Train Project has occupied the priority when the railway journey in the locals in the city like Mumbai has become extremely dangerous sometimes even fatal. The trains are over packed with the suffocating crowd and any slight jerk can prove to be fatal. Hard-pressed to reach in time to work place otherwise losing the job the people risk their lives travelling in the overcrowed locals in the city like Mumbai.
Gadkari instead of sharing the ever worsening plight of the commuters sees merit in the Ahmedabad Bullet Project. He should have thought of providing the safety to the passengers with the improvement of the railways. Ahmedabad bullet train can be beneficial to the corporate class but it cannot be the cup of tea to the commoners who cannot afford it. The misplaced priorities give the impression that Modi Government looks to be more concerned with the interest of the corporate culture.
However notwithstanding the pro-corporate slant of the Delhi government or otherwise, the fact remains that people are disappointed with the performance of the Government which had promised moon to the people. There is also no denying the fact that the Modi Government did initiate some welfare schemes for the poor. But considering the large size of the country with the huge population these welfare schemes look to be token and with the largely underperformance of the Government on economic front and the stark failure to provide the security to the minorities particularly the Muslims the optimism and euphoria ushering in with the formation of the Modi Government has died down and dissipated.
The people are not pro or anti-Modi. They are more concerned with the performance of the Government to improve the quality of life. The people irrespective of any consideration has supported Modi for the cause of good governance. It is the mounting dissatisfaction of the people with the failure of the Government causing huge economic disruption in the life of the common man attention is given to the efficacy and worth of the coalition politics as pragmatic alternate to the prevailing political dispensation.
In a country like ours quite diverse in its character and ethos coalition politics cannot be dispensed with. It is the essence of coalition politics which has helped in installing H.D. Kumarswamy as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. There was thus the Conclave of the Opposition Parties at Bangaluru to felicitate the Karnataka CM. and show the unity of the Opposition as run up to the 2019 General Election. However the Opposition Conclave has drawn an ire and deep resentment from BJP. 
Launching a scathing attack on the Opposition Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the Opposition an anarchist combination but it is as clear as day light to know who is spreading the anarchy in the Country in the name of religion. This sort of anarchy has gone so intense that even the foreign media and Human Rights group have taken note of it. Amit Shah has also made no secret of his displeasure over the combined Opposition.
Nevertheless in emerging political dynamics in the Country the role of the Opposition can’t be minimised in arresting the dangerous drift to the monstrous divisive politics. It’s for the Combined Opposition to see that the politics of polarisation needs to be restrained somewhere or the other.
It’s same logic of not tolerating Combined Opposition or the Coalition which made Kamlendar Kanwar bitterly criticise the Coalition Govt. in Karnataka headed by Kumarswamy. Writing in Free Press Journal dated 30th May 2018 he said, “Kumarswamy should be ashamed that for the sake of Chief Ministerial Chair he subverted the mandate of the people and brought in a rejected party back to power after a vote that was clearly anti establishment”. Would Kamlendra recall that in Meghalaya Assembly comprising 60 seats Congress secured 21 seats emerging as the largest party whereas BJP got only two seats. Despite securing 2 sets BJP wrested power from Congress. Has BJP won the mandate of the people securing two seats ?
In Goa Congress secured 17 seats and BJP got 13 seats. The mandate was against BJP. It not only lost many of its MLAs but even the Chief Minister Luxmikant Pariskar also lost. Nevertheless the BJP succeeded in forming the Government.
In Manipur comprising 60 Assembly seats Congress won 28 seats and BJP bagged 21 seats. Despite this BJP hijacked the power. It’s not difficult to realise as to what has gone into in the formation of the Government. How the loyalties are changed for the formation or the collapse of the Government can be any body’s guess. It was a different time when loyalties were based on ideologies and principles.
Coalition or the Combined Opposition form the vital part of democracy. What is wrong with the Opposition luminaries sharing stage in the felicitation function of the Kumarswami Government at Bengaluru in Karnataka. They have shed their differences to take on the Modi Government in the election looming large. It’s said that the galaxy of Opposition leaders has arrayed against Modi. There is nothing personal against Modi. In a democracy the opposition contests the election to defeat the rival political party or the formation. Do we expect the opposition to support the rival political party or group?
What harm is there if the opposition leaders reconcile their differences run up to the 2019 General Election? Are those giving disdainful treatment to the Opposition and playing into the hands of the Establishment which has not restrained the onslaught of those communalising the polity to the extremely dangerous chaos and anarchy. 
In the given situation the Opposition is to play the constructive role not divorced from the hard realities respecting the democratic norms. The election is to be contested on the key issue of good governance, and extraneous considerations are to take the back seat. The absence of strong Opposition would otherwise spell democratic dictatorship fraught with the grave implications. The Opposition together can swim or it will sink at its own peril in the Election not far off.

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