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HomeNews ReportsCauvery water, Bengal drama, and Punjab question: Forget unity against BJP, I.N.D.I. alliance cannot...

Cauvery water, Bengal drama, and Punjab question: Forget unity against BJP, I.N.D.I. alliance cannot even unite own parties as 2024 approaches

While campaigning, Kejriwal is throwing around the usual promises like free electricity. It is clear that AAP and Congress are not going to contest Chhattisgarh under any alliance. Similarly, in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, AAP is looking to contest against the ruling parties Congress, and BJP, respectively, without any hope of alliance with the Congress party.

I.N.D.I. alliance was formed to fight the Lok Sabha elections 2024 against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led (BJP) NDA, to combine the strength of the opposition and come to power. However, things are not on the right track as the alliance is still too far away from resolving internal conflicts and rivalries.

The main issue among the I.N.D.I. alliance is who is leading them and who is going to be the Prime Minister’s face. Congress, which is the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha, wants Rahul Gandhi to be the Prime Minister face for the general elections. However, no other alliance partners have shown any inclination toward Rahul Gandhi’s leadership that has led Congress through 2 subsequent election losses.

On the other hand, Nitish Kumar, who thought he might become the face of the opposition alliance and hosted the first-ever meeting in Bihar, has understood that no one sees him as the national leader among the allies. The same goes for other top leaders in the alliance, who, despite multiple meetings, are yet to come up with either a seat-sharing formula or decide on a leader.

Every week, there is a new issue among the alliance parties. Congress and Aam Aadmi Party are locking horns in Punjab and Delhi in the North. In the East, Congress is going nuclear in West Bengal against the Trinamool Congress (TMC). In the South, DMK and Congress are fighting over Cauvery water in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Finally, in the West, Rajasthan elections are going to divide Congress and AAP further as they both would want to contest more seats in the state.

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and other states scheduled to hold assembly elections later this year will put the allied parties of the I.N.D.I. alliance in a dilemma over whether they want to stay friends in state politics or the friendship will remain only on the national level.

Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka

On 23rd September, RAF was deployed in Karnataka’s Mandya as the tensions between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka escalated over Cauvery water. In the latest development, farmers from both states have staged protests against Chief Ministers of opposite states. Tamil Nadu farmers performed the last rites of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah.

On the other hand, farmers from Karnataka performed the last rites of Tamil Nadu CM Stalin.

Interestingly, in Tamil Nadu, DMK and Congress are in alliance. However, they are unable to solve the water dispute between the states. Such issues will create problems, especially when they plan to contest Lok Sabha elections under one banner. Another issue is DMK’s leaders’ statements against Sanatana Dharma, which created a massive outrage and saw alliance partners rushing to either defend or deflect. While the parties in the I.N.D.I. alliance have supported DMK, the issue is definitely going to bite them during campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress accuses Mamata Banerjee of wasting public money during her Spain trip

Congress has accused TMC of violence against its local leaders in West Bengal on several occasions. The bitter relationship between TMC and Congress did not water down after the formation of the I.N.D.I. alliance. Notably, Mamata Banerjee holds a strong position as a possible PM face among the opposition parties because of her consistent win as Chief Minister in West Bengal. On the other hand, her party’s reputation linked to post-poll violence is not going to go easy during Lok Sabha election campaigns.

In a statement on 27th September, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha and Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Choudhary accused Mamata Banerjee of enjoying her trip to Spain on public money. He accused the CM of staying in a hotel room worth Rs 3 lakh per day during her trip. He said, “The Chief Minister (Mamata Banerjee) stayed at a hotel in Spain that costs Rs 3 lakh a day. On the pretext of inviting investments, she went on a tour and has returned after having fun.”

AAP and Congress lock horns in Punjab

In the first week of September, Anmol Gagan Mann, a leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a minister in Punjab, stated that there would be no alliance with the Congress party in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. AAP will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state under its own symbol. Interestingly, several Congress leaders in the state also oppose the idea of partnering with the AAP.

Earlier, the state leadership of the Congress party had made it clear that they are against any alliance with the AAP in Punjab for the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. They have asked the state Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Warring and the opposition leader Partap Singh Bajwa to convey to the party high command that they are against the alliance.

The conflict of interest will also be a major issue between AAP and Congress in other states. Delhi has become AAP’s fort. There is no way that AAP would decide not to contest any of the seats where the party holds power. Several local AAP leaders and supporters will see it as “fraud” with the voters. On the other hand, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is already roaming in Chhattisgarh, a state currently ruled by Congress, asking to bring AAP to power.

While campaigning, Kejriwal is throwing around the usual promises like free electricity. It is clear that AAP and Congress are not going to contest Chhattisgarh under any alliance. Similarly, in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, AAP is looking to contest against the ruling parties Congress, and BJP, respectively, without any hope of alliance with the Congress party.

AAP leaders habitually accuse Congress leaders of corruption whenever they get a chance. it is fair to expect that AAP will target Congress in the states where it is currently in power, like Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, despite their party alliance with Congress on a national level. It will be a point of conflict between these parties when they start campaigning for Lok Sabha as there will be questions when they cannot work together on the state level, how are they going to run the government on the national level.

Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar and Arvind Kejriwal, along with other leaders of the 26 parties in the I.N.D.I. alliance, are the potential faces for the PM in Lok Sabha elections. While NDA has already declared they will contest elections to bring back PM Narendra Modi to power, the opposition alliance is expected to continue its struggle to decide who will be the PM if they win. Earlier, Rahul Gandhi was the star campaigner for NDA in the Lok Sabha election. However, if the alliance continues as they hope for, every other leader of the opposition alliance will boost the chance of NDA of coming back to power in one or the other way.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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