12 May, 2021

Foul Weather Friends

Sonia Gandhi is all for electoral alliances. But can she hold one together?

Jitender Gupta
Foul Weather Friends
At 24, Akbar Road, the Congress HQ, there is an air of expectancy. Post-Shimla, alliances are the new buzzword, now that Sonia Gandhi has finally made up her mind about tie-ups with "like-minded and secular" parties. Even pre-poll alliances are not ruled out. After the July 20 meeting of Opposition leaders at her house, talk of a secular coalition is very much in the air. But, the key question is just how such an alliance will evolve on the ground. More importantly, has the Congress really adapted itself to coalition culture?

But as soon as the Congress let out the word, allies began to see a coalition emerging. Staunch Congress supporter Laloo Yadav was first off the mark. "I hereby affirm my support to Soniaji," he said. "The political atmosphere in the country will change now." He added such an alliance was necessary to break the BJP's communal hold over the country.

There have been other similar noises. DMK president M. Karunanidhi has said that Sonia's Shimla sankalp "might result in a political change at the national level". The bonhomie between the DMK's state...

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