26 Jun 2023

Patna Meeting A Good Start But Is Real Opposition Unity Still A Dream?

On the call of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, all the opposition parties held a meeting in Patna. Nothing much was decided in this meeting, but an attempt was made to create an atmosphere against the working style of the Central government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This meeting will be called successful in the sense that most of the major opposition parties participated in it.

The opposition parties which did not participate in this were not actually called at all. Among them were Naveen Patnaik's Biju Janata Dal, KCR's BRS, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party, Chandrababu Naidu's Telugu Desam and Jagan Mohan Reddy's YRS Congress.
At the Patna meeting an announcement was also made to continue the series of opposition meetings. In this context, it was decided that a meeting would be held in Shimla in the first fortnight of July, in which the Common Minimum Programme and other issues would be discussed.

Opposition parties elated with Karnataka results

Actually, not only the Congress is elated with the election results of Karnataka, but all the opposition parties are also optimistic. Opposition parties feel that a narrative is being created across the country against the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. That's why it seems possible to defeat the BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.


Will opposition pass real test of unity

Obviously from this point of view the Patna meeting has proved positive. The Patna meeting can be considered a good start but real opposition unity is still far away. The real test of opposition unity will be when there will be talk of seat adjustment and claim for the post of prime minister. Real differences between the opposition parties will also come to the fore on these two issues.
Indications of this were seen in Patna only when the Aam Aadmi Party boycotted the joint press conference after the meeting, saying that why they are silent in the matter of voting by Congress against the Congress Ordinance in the Rajya Sabha.

What Kejriwal and Mamata want which is unacceptable to Cong?

Arvind Kejriwal indirectly warned that if the attitude of the Congress remained the same, he would not attend any meeting of opposition unity in future.

It is difficult to have a compromise between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress anyway because the AAP proposed to the Congress that if it leaves Delhi and Punjab, the AAP will also not contest elections in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. The Congress has outright rejected this proposal of Arvind Kejriwal.

Mamata Banerjee clearly told the Congress that if it made an alliance with the Marxist Communist Party, she too would not make an alliance with the Congress in any state.

Akhilesh also asked Cong to show big heart in UP

Apart from Arvind Kejriwal and Mamata Banerjee, Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav also asked the Congress to show big heart in Uttar Pradesh i.e. Akhilesh Yadav wants the Congress not to contest the elections in Uttar Pradesh.

On the other hand, the Congress is angry with Mamata Banerjee's statement that the Congress should field candidates only in those seats where it is strong. That is, Congress should keep about 200 seats with itself and give the rest to regional parties.

Will Cong agree to contest only on 200 seats?

The question is whether the Congress, buoyed by the victory of Himachal and Karnataka, can agree to contest the Lok Sabha elections on only 200 seats? If Congress contests on 200 seats, then how will its claim on the post of Prime Minister be considered natural? Obviously, there is no question of Congress agreeing to less than 350 seats. 


In fact, apart from the seat adjustment, there are sharp differences between the opposition parties regarding the face of the Prime Minister's post. It is obvious that the path of opposition unity is still very long, but the Patna meeting has created a favorable environment.

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