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Unequal rivals

The Congress leadership is no match for him in strategic thinking and stamina

Business Standard 

A K Bhattacharya raises a pertinent question in his piece, “Where is the Opposition?” (October 11). One way to answer this is by comparing the resources of the party in power and the main Opposition. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rules in 14 states, the Congress in five. The BJP has added more states, including Uttar Pradesh, into its fold while the Congress has lost almost as many. 

The BJP is led by someone available 24X7 for the party. The Congress leadership is no match for him in strategic thinking and stamina. 

The BJP has good leadership at the level of states and its chief ministers have established a reputation for efficient governance, unlike the Congress.

The BJP is led by a leader with a well-articulated vision, breadth of knowledge, mass-influencing conduct and matchless energy. No one in the Opposition compares with him on these parameters. Besides, the Congress lost three years by depending on Rahul Gandhi to revive its fortunes. 

Another handicap with the Opposition is, as Bhattacharya points out, the lack of an appealing agenda. Harping on the BJP’s “communal” image did not pay in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and subsequent state Assembly polls. 

Much will depend on how the ruling party and the Opposition perform in the last two years of the current regime. Voters are usually swayed by recent experiences. In that case, even a blundering Opposition can win, as it did in 2004, if the BJP does not keep its pledge of good administration and job creation.

Y G Chouksey   Pune
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First Published: Sun, October 15 2017. 22:32 IST