26 January, 2021

Return Of The Alternative

To counter Modi, the ‘idea of India’ has to be made fashionable again

Return Of The Alternative

The unexpected haul of seats for the Samajwadi Party in the Uttar Pradesh bypolls is being widely projected as a rejection of the BJP’s politics of communal polarisation and a revival of the caste-based politics of regional forces. “The communal forces have been defeated,” thundered CM Akhilesh Yadav after the results. A month ago, in the wake of the results of the Bihar bypolls too one had witnessed a similar euphoria in the ranks of the ‘secular’ parties. JD(U) leader K.C. Tyagi had told a TV news anchor on result day that “a national alliance of secular parties was in the offing”. The res­ults of the 50-odd assembly bypoll seats since the Lok Sabha elections have so acted as a shot in the arm that talks about a Con­g­r­ess-SP-RLD seat-sharing arrangement for the 2017 UP assembly polls are already in the air.

But there are several moot questions that beg an answer: can these results be seen as a significant decline in the mass appeal of Nar­­endra Modi and an endorsement of discr­e­di­ted...



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