Stalin could consider a national role before the Battle Royale 2024


Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) President and Chief Minister (CM) of Tamil Nadu (TN) MK Stalin tried to project himself as a strong opposition leader with a different vision than Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in recent years.

Since the DMK is the third largest party in the Lok Sabha with 23 members, the inauguration from the Anna-Kalaignar Arivalayam party office in Delhi on Saturday is seen as an attempt by Stalin to have a national role. In one letter Writing to party workers, he said the Delhi office is a “compelling symbol of the indispensable role that the DMK and the Dravidian model are playing in national politics”.

The inauguration has become a Platform for the rapprochement of anti-BJP parties, Acting Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Samajwadi Party Chief Chairman Akhilesh Yadav, CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah.

As the BJP increasingly takes over with its aggressive brand of Hindu politics, opposition parties may come together to present a united front against the saffron party in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

ROLE OF DMK

Leftist parties, which have always opposed the BJP’s common and divisive agenda, had played a key role in securing a stable government in the form of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 2004. Today, the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) guest Stalin at a public meeting to discuss the challenges of federalism in Kannur, Kerala on April 9.

After taking power in May 2021, the DMK has been a powerful critical of the BJP’s Hindutva politics. When in opposition, the party had criticized the Three Farm Bills, the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and the National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET). As soon as the DMK came to power, it passed resolutions against farm laws and CAA.

The CM’s comment on the BJP’s claim to become the third force in Tamil Nadu has received a lot of attention. “A boy gets 90 points on an exam. Another student gets a score of 50. Another gets 10 points. Would you like a 10-point scorer to finish third? he said in an interview.

According to veteran TN reporter ‘Tharasu’ Shyam, Stalin “accepted that the BJP is a force to be reckoned with nationally.” “Although he played down his claims on Tamil Nadu, a broader opposition unity is needed to stop the BJP juggernaut,” he said. Newsclick.

Despite Stalin’s attempt to project himself as the leader of the opposition, Shyam believes the DMK leader is not a candidate for prime minister. “Stalin is doing what his father M Karunanidhi did in 2004”.

The DMK was one of the parties that contributed to the formation of the UPA, which also received external support from the left on the basis of a common minimum program from 2004 to 2008.

Recalling the 2004 formula, Shyam said an election victory is possible even without a candidate for prime minister. “Dr Manmohan Singh was a surprise pick after the election. Given the experience of winning the elections without a candidate for the post of Prime Minister, the same formula should also apply in 2024 with an important role of the DMK in the coordination of the regional parties.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO BEAT BJP?

The role of regional parties and Congress is more important because a compromise between these forces is essential to accumulate anti-BJP votes. “The parties must learn from the results of Uttar Pradesh and Goa, where a Opposition divided played to the advantage of the BJP. Parties cannot concede seats in assembly elections, but they must be prepared to do so in general elections. Congress needs to make a deal with the other parties,” Shyam said.

On the growing influence of the BJP and the dwindling vote share of Congress, Shyam said, “The number of BJP MPs is lower than that of the Congress and the other regional parties combined. Defeating the BJP is possible with a united opposition.

Referring to the BJP’s defeat in 2004, Shyam recalled that despite the party’s ‘India Shining’ campaign and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s public image, “the BJP was defeated. The same can also be done in 2024.”

ROLE OF LEFT PARTIES

Opening the 23rd CPI(M) State Conference in Madurai, General Secretary Sitaram Yechury explained in detail the role of his party, DMK and other regional forces ahead of the 2024 elections.

It’s important to isolate and defeat the BJP. All sections of the population are attacked while federalism and the Constitution are undermined. Secular and democratic forces must unite to stop and reverse privatization and reservations. The role of the DMK and the chief minister becomes very important. Tamil Nadu has shown that if secular and democratic forces come together, the BJP and its allies can be defeated,” Yechury said.

Calling Stalin a acceptable face at non-BJP CMs, Yechury asked him to take on the key role of coordinating with regional, secular and democratic forces.

Venkatesh Athreya, a Marxist economist, believes that the alternative projected only for the 2024 elections does not measure up to the leftist and democratic front to which the CPI(M) aspires. “There is a need to build a combination that can maximize anti-BJP votes based on the CPI(M) policy line. Attacks on secularism and federalism must be prevented by a broader secular, democratic and progressive force that offers an alternative to the current system,” he said. Newsclick.

On the issue of achieving a common economy through the left and other regional parties, Athreya said, “After the implementation of the neoliberal policy in 1991, most regional parties followed it. But they are reconsidering it now. The formation of the National Trade Union Platform is one such sign of unity among other political forces.

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