‘If opposition unity fails, Modi will brave through note ban crisis’

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New Delhi, December 24
Prime Minister’s demonetisation drive and faux pas in Jammu and Kashmir has all the potential to bring about opposition unity, but if disunity among parties continue largely due to “ego hassles”, Narendra Modi will be able to sail through a challenging time, a senior JD(U) leader has said here. “This is the best time to unite. Demonetisation will have far reaching effects. But I do not see the unity happening. Ego clash will keep opposition in disarray and if disunity prevails Modi and the BJP may be able to sail through these challenging times,” the senior politician said on the condition of anonymity. Sources said efforts for anchoring a unity move has been launched by some parties, including the
Janata Dal (United), but there are hurdles as ‘leadership tussle and hidden agenda’ of various leaders are coming on the way.
Besides demonetisation, mishandling of Kashmir issue provide ready fodder to the opposition camp, but the leaders especially from the regional parties should be able to shun independent agenda, a section of opposition leaders say.When contacted, former JD(U) president Sharad Yadav declined to comment on the perceived unity move said, “Politics as of now is unlike 1970s and 1980s when opposition unity could be worked out”. Some leaders from JD(U), Congress and Samajwadi Party could here meet next week. Sources said Congress leader Ahmed Patel, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav and Communist Party of India- Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury are trying to anchor a broad opposition unity. However, there are some inherent contradictions. Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress nsees CPI-M as a bitter rival in West Bengal and at the same time, Trinamool is being seen as an “over ambitious party” by others trying to steal limelight in northern India – “without much merits”. The semblance of unity by opposition parties as seen during just concluded winter session of parliament faced a major setback when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi led a party delegation for meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Several opposition leaders, including from Samajwadi and Left, disapproved the Congress move and subsequently skipped the opposition delegation meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee on
demonetisation. A section of opposition leaders feel the alleged push of the “Hinduisation line” at the instance of Rashtriya Sawyem Sewak (RSS) in Kashmir has also created ground for a “fierce battle”between opposition parties and the government.
“We could have cornered them seriously for bedlam in Kashmir, but the non-functioning of the parliament helped the government,” a source said. Some senior opposition leaders find that the central government has tried to toe the well known RSS line of “harsher measures” against the militants, hardliners and the common people of Kashmir-all in one brush.
“There is a clear attempt to isolate the Hurriyat. This will serve no purpose as in the long run,
three mainstream parties which had base in Kashmir valley the National Conference, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and the Congress are getting
alienated from the people,” a senior opposition leader said.
Curfew during Eid in Kashmir cannot give positive signals, he pointed out.
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