There is no more drama over who is to contest from Wayanad on Congress ticket. The grand-old party has announced its candidate in the constituency after a height of uncertainty prolonging over a week. It is none other than the party president Rahul Gandhi, the next proposed prime minister if people votes United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to power.
But the candidature of All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad has drawn criticism from various quarters. Particularly the Left, who have been sharp and scathing in their attack. The major criticism posed is who is Congress fighting against – the communal Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or the secular Left. Is there any merit in the Left criticisms against Mr. Gandhi and the Congress party?
No secular or democratic soul in India would disagree that the Modi government has shaken all the pillars of constitutional institutions in the country. The idea of secular and unified India was never threatened before unlike in the last five years of the BJP government.
Never has the country ever saw a government using all the state machinery to silence dissent. Media was gagged and those who tried to expose were muted. Only those subservient to the government were allowed and thrived.
Annual reports and surveys were manipulated and those critical of the government or exposing their failures were pushed into the dark. It was a democratically elected government manifesting all the qualities of an authoritarian dictatorship regime.
A change for a secure future
India has suffered tremendously under the BJP government in the last five years. It was saved only because the people were resilient and the secular souls had showed up immense courage and an unwavering grit in questioning the government.
And finally it is time that we oust the communal forces from power and replace it with a secular government. There shouldn’t be any mistake because once committed it might be irreparable.
This is what makes the 2019 elections crucial. The nation is facing a question of existence. It is time we declare independence from the clutches of those advocating communal and divisive politics. And we must reinstate a secular, democratic, accountable and transparent government which upholds the Indian constitution. India shouldn’t be staring at a bleak or dark future but embracing a bright and advancing world.
The country, in its last five years witnessed the communal elements growing as an indomitable force wresting all the powers into their hands. But it doesn’t mean they are invincible. For which, we need a massive opposition unity.
It is sad that Congress, despite being of all the efforts, has failed to stitch together a mighty opposition. In other places, for instance in West Bengal and Delhi, it has opted out of forming any such alliances. It is expected there would be a post-poll alliance in these states.
Rahul in Wayanad gives a wrong message
Considering these conditions, it is a collective responsibility on the leadership of the opposition to be vigilant in its course of action and careful in not giving a chance for the communal forces to trump on any lapses from their part.
But announcing Rahul Gandhi’s candidacy in Wayanad, Congress party has faulted this principle and golden rule communicating an entirely wrong message to the voters.
There are multiple reasons. Firstly, there wasn’t a need for the Congress President to contest from South India where BJP is not a mighty force. Secondly, if it was to trigger a positive wave in southern parts of the country, as it is being said, he should have contested from one of the strongholds of the BJP in South India and given a stern message out to the public. Thirdly and most importantly, he should have avoided giving away a stick to the BJP which has taken this as an opportunity to take out a jibe against him saying that Mr. Gandhi has chosen to contest from South India fearing defeat in Amethi, his constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Moreover, the Congress should have restrained from creating a confusion among the voters in the North and South. And if the BJP’s comments on Rahul Gandhi mocking him for seeking people’s verdict from a safe haven in Kerala wins, its repercussions in the North India would be devastating.
And finally, he should have avoided the decision to contest from Wayanad taking into consideration the words of his alliance partners who had vehemently opposed to the move. The opposition unity being stitched on soft fabric; Congress should avoid indulging in any frivolous acts damaging it.
Jestin Abraham is a journalist