An ironic statement of unity when the alliance itself is falling apart. If the idea was to come together and put up a joint opposition to the ruling dispensation, this is looking like a pipe dream at present. Was this alliance too idealistic, too presumptuous, and even premature? With such disparate people and programmes between them, a more practical programme would have been simple seat sharing wherever the lead players are eating into each other’s votes. Just that, plain and simple.
Starting from Manipur on January 14th, we saw the Rahul Yatra 2.0 make an East to West push for an India, free from division. Ironically, as the yatra broke up for rest, in those two days while Rahul was in Delhi, the carpet was moved from under the INDIA Alliance feet. Right under their nose, as the alliance leaders helplessly saw the playing out of the 9th incarnation of Nitesh Kumar as the chief minister of Bihar. The alliance lost yet another of its pillars, after Mamta had declared she would go it alone in Bengal, a double whammy for a faltering gathering of disparate partners. If the proverbial cat has nine lives, does Nitesh have more, as he continues to invest in partnerships that ensure his relevance, read the assurance that he remains the CM, unless it is the PMs job, to which he believes he was born to be!
Does the yatra have the same traction as the first one did? One is not sure, as media appears less excited about it, though they may have their own reasons to overlook it. If it is another grass root connect, that the Congress hopes to achieve, photo coverage of the yatra appears to be doing well. Eventually, how many votes will it garner, will remain anybody’s guess.
But a good time, as any other, to check how grounded the Congress is, and how practical it is going into the 2024 election battle? Has it done an honest assessment of how many seats it can actually procure on its own, in arrangement with other ‘willing’ parties, given the complexity within alliances and an increasingly effective BJP going strong every passing day. It is not that time in the history of our nation when our people will get swayed with long gestation plans and policies. Instead of a manifesto, the common man wants an alternate action plan on how another party will improve his daily life? Credibility is at stake, promises alone will not deliver. This is while the BJP has launched a campaign that says just that, yeh Modi sarkar ki guarantee hai! They have the pulse of the people with them.
The yatra in itself will not yield much result, with the elections so close at hand. Or, will it, bringing a more recent recall among the voters? These images from the yatra sure have a zing to them, the young campaigner on the streets across the nation, connecting at the grass roots.