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1-min read

Squeezed Too Far Left of Centre, Congress Hopes to Strike Right Notes With Sena Alliance

The Congress’ shift in political line is echoed in the silence of even Left and progressive forces in their reaction to Grand Old Party’s overtures to Sena, the original practitioners of Hindutva politics.

News18.com

Updated:November 28, 2019, 12:51 PM IST
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Squeezed Too Far Left of Centre, Congress Hopes to Strike Right Notes With Sena Alliance
Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray invites Congress president Sonia Gandhi to attend the oath-taking ceremony of his father and party chief Uddhav Thackeray, in New Delhi on November 27, 2019. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: Re-calibration of political positions in the light of recent developments in Maharashtra was evident in Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s address to her party MPs on Thursday morning.

Sonia, who is also the leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party, accused the central government of “shameful attempt to subvert democracy in Maharashtra”. Most conspicuous in her half-an-hour speech is the new Modi-Shah binary the Congress president coined and repeatedly used in her address in seeking accountability from the government of the day.

“Every effort was made to sabotage the three-party alliance government formation, but we appealed to the Supreme Court and the Modi-Shah government was totally exposed,” Sonia said to her MPs.

Interestingly, in her earlier addresses, she has in general referred to the central government as the ‘Modi government’. On three occasions in her address, Sonia described the present dispensation as the Modi-Shah regime and on one occasion as “Prime Minister and the Home Minister”.

Interestingly, the Congress president remained conspicuously silent on the recent Supreme Court order on the temple construction on Ayodhya. The tactical change in Congress’ political line was also evident with Sonia not getting drawn into the conventional communal-secular binary in attacking the BJP.

Instead, she has sought to change tack by seeking accountability on issues related to governance, like India’s refusal to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact to the NRC and economic slowdown.

Having decided to align with the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, the party seems to be attempting an image makeover of sorts from its current position which some perceive is to be squeezing the Congress too far Left of the centre. The process has only helped the BJP consolidate its position both at the centre and right of the centre of the political spectrum.

The Congress’ shift in political line is echoed in the silence of even Left and progressive forces in their reaction to Grand Old Party’s overtures to Sena, the original practitioners of Hindutva politics. Even the Maharashtra unit of the CPM in its statement extended support to the Sena-led government to keep the BJP out of power.

The opposition, it seems, is attempting to redefine the fault-line in Indian politics. Having run its course, the secular-communal binary is being replaced with attempts to engender pro- and anti-BJP mobilisation.

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