Sharad Pawar, Going, Going, Gone? Skips Today's Big Opposition Meet

NCP leader Praful Patel said his party decided to boycott the meeting as the Congress was accusing it of not supporting the Ahmed Patel when its legislators had cast their votes in his favour. PTI File

Here is my take of the breathtaking cloak-and-dagger kind of politics in the Ahmed Patel episode. Having made a start with the elections of the president and vice president, the opposition is keen to keep up the momentum of its fight even though it is facing serious roadblocks in this journey. Actually, in the BJP's scheme of things Ahmed Patel is the Trojan Horse for the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah duo in the Congress camp - at least from their perspective. It went a light year ahead in this failed attempt. The BJP grossly misused government machinery in Gujarat to ensure their win. First in Gujarat, then in Karnataka and then in 2019, all over India. However, during the Rajya Sabha polls, he attended BJP meetings and praised the state government after casting his vote. The USP of this episode for Bollywood is that this particular theme and the wheels-within-wheels kind of political plot is still untried and therefore a novelty.

That I had to micromanage my Rajya Sabha election is a fact.

During the climactic phase of the 2014 general elections, Modi had given an interview in early May 2014 which raised the hackles in the then Congress.

Ahmed Patel's spectacular victory should motivate the workers and their representatives to do bigger things. PATEL:I do not know and can not think of any one reason. I am going to teach BJP a lesson. We were good friends, and I personally do not see why we should not have had such a relationship. As soon as the results were out, the party bosses called him to congratulate. However, Shankersinh Vaghela was not among those who tendered their resignations.

Since then, the graph of Patel plummeted in Rahul's scheme of things. In fact, if I had lost, I would have fought back with equal vengeance.

Patel had beaten the BJP nominee in a bitterly fought election after late night dramatic developments saw the Election Commission reject the votes of two dissident MLAs of the main opposition party for violating electoral rules.

By leaving him ostensibly no escape route, the BJP wanted to show to Patel, and through him to the Congress, that Patel was an enemy, not a friend. The issues that are to be highlighted, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who briefed the press after the meeting, said were agrarian distress, rising unemployment, atrocities on Dalits, Muslims and other vulnerable sections.

Shivakumar, who sees himself as the Chief Ministerial candidate of the party in Karnataka, has emerged the real victor in the Gujarat battle as the man has again delivered what he had promised even amid the most trying time of his three-decade-long political career.

Yes, victory matters. But victory in the right spirit, using the right means.

While the Congress leaders are reaching out to leaders of breakaway groups (Mamata Banerjee of the TMC, Sharad Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party or the YSR Congress leader Jagan Mohan Reddy), a similar effort to bring together the splinter groups of the Janata Dal factions has been initiated.

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