Congress: A New-Look Opposition?
India Today|January 31, 2022
Rahul Gandhi may still be the most ideally placed to revive the fortunes of the Congress but Mamata Banerjee is seen as a better candidate to lead an Opposition alliance against the BJP
Kaushik Deka

IN the final week of 2021, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced his government’s decision to withdraw the three contentious farm laws, it gave opposition parties something to crow about.

Moments after his televised retreat, a video clip of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi predicting the repeal of these laws went viral on social media platforms. Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) even declared that they would again bring the government to its knees over another controversial bill (the Election Laws Bill 2021) that proposes to link Aadhaar numbers to voter IDs.

However, the collective enthusiasm of Opposition parties, manifest in their combative mood in Parliament, has not found much resonance among the people, it appears from our latest Mood of the Nation poll. The January 2022 edition of the poll reveals that 43.1 per cent of respondents believe the opposition parties are responsible for frequent disruptions in Parliament while 32 per cent put the blame at the doorstep of the government.

The public anger and anguish caused by the devastation of the Covid second wave had put the Modi government on the defensive. The opposition parties also did their damnedest to corner the government on its handling of the pandemic, yet more than half the respondents (53 per cent) believe opposition parties criticised the government for the heck of it; only 32 per cent said the opposition-held the government to account in a constructive manner.

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