Congress campaign against farm laws may meet the fate of land acquisition bills.

New Delhi: There is a perceptible sense of enthusiasm in the Congress after Rahul Gandhi appeared more energetic while taking up the issue of the three farm laws afresh. At the same time, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also boosted energy levels among the Congress workers by taking a dip in the river on the occasion of Mauni Amavasya.
In fact, Priyanka Vadra gave a message to the Hindu community. She also continued to target the Modi government over the farm laws. It is said that both Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra will continue their campaign like this. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be touring Uttar Pradesh, while Rahul Gandhi will be visiting other states of the country. But the biggest question is whether this entire exercise will benefit the Congress.
The reason why this question is being raised is that Rahul Gandhi’s similar campaign against the land acquisition bill could not yield any positive result for the Congress. What was seen was that several non-Congress leaders who were actively involved in the agitation against land acquisition law later joined BJP.
Of course, Rahul Gandhi has become more active now. He is sparing no effort to target the Modi government over the famers’ issues. He is also displaying a new dress sense, sporting a half sleeves shirt inside the Parliament. He was seen wearing kurta on the streets.
What is disappointing for the Congress is that the BJP-led NDA has registered several electoral wins after “controversial” decisions of the Modi government, such as demonetization, GST, Rafale deal etc.
However, Rahul Gandhi has now a new slogan “Hum Do Humare Do”, instead of Chowkidar Chor Hai. Congress watchers believe Rahul-led campaign against the farm laws might meet the fate of the movement against land acquisition bill.
First, Rahul Gandhi won’t be able to sustain the campaign much longer. Secondly, the farmers’ leaders will not back Congress. Farmers’ key leader Rakesh Tikait’s father Mahendra Singh Tikait had emerged as a big stalwart only by opposing Congress and Rajiv Gandhi. The result was that the Congress was wiped out then from UP. This is the reason why Rakesh Tikait cannot get rid of political tag, no matter how much he denies being a neutral person. A politically mature leader, Rakesh Tikait will not repeat the mistakes of his father who always fought against the establishments for farmers’ welfare. So he always remained under attack from political parties such as SP, BSP, RLD and Congress. Rakesh Tikait did not follow his father and, therefore, ensured that his fight against the government is up to a moderate level. He contested the election, but lost. However, now he has emerged a strong farmers’ leader due to the ongoing agitation.
What Tikait is doing is perplexing the Opposition more than the ruling party in Haryana, western UP and Delhi. Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda is considered to be a big leader of farmers and jats. Now Tikait is emerging as a strong leader of these communities. As a significant jat leader Chautala is in power; so Tikait will spare no effort to cash in on his present stature.
Similarly, Tikait will be gaining more ground in western UP with the agitation lasting longer. BJP will not be affected more by Tiakait’s consolidation. But other parties such as SP, Congress, RLD and BSP might be in trouble.
Farmers’ protest is not a big issue in poll-bound five states, including West Bengal and Assam. Congress is weak in these states. Even in Kerala, the grand old party is not appearing strong. What is important is that these polls will be followed by UP assembly elections. Congress is again in a bad shape in Assam and DMK is not ready to give it more seats in Tamil Nadu, which may result in the alliance between the two parties going awry. BJP is making all possible efforts to win Bengal and Assam. If political observers are to be believed, then the saffron party’s win could be sure in these states.
If BJP wins Bengal and Assam, then it will dampen the spirits of the farmers’ leaders. The BJP is trying to woo farmers as part of this politics. What is troubling the Opposition parties is that Tikait, who is said to be close to BJP, might spring a surprise at the time of election.
Meanwhile, Congress is again not taking the states seriously. The five states going to polls are examples of this. While the BJP is sparing no efforts to perform well in these states, Congress’ strategy is nowhere to be seen. Rahul Gandhi has limited his activities in Delhi and nearby regions. If Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra make a plan for UP now, then the Congress could hope to achieve some honourable position in the state.