Blog: The Right Alliance
The announcement of the Bleu-Blanc-Rouge alliance on Tuesday 31st March 2010 was received with a big sigh of relief by all MSM, PMSD and Labour supporters.
I have always said and maintained that nobody should underestimate the capacity of Navin Ramgoolam to take the right decision in political matters. Besides, we all have witnessed how he has matured since the 1991 elections. He did not hesitate to make an alliance with the MMM in 1995 and kicked them out when they became too demanding and cumbersome. Having lost power in 2000, he was able to forge an alliance of several parties in end 2005 He then vowed publicly to finish the MMM.
After resuming power and leading it to victory, he reconciled himself to the continued presidency of Sir Anerood Jugnauth and it came to no surprise that he did not find anybody better to replace him. He cultivated some sort of friendship with him which bordered on an admiration for his contribution to the development of the country as Prime Minister. He also benefited from his wisdom and experience in running of the affairs of the country. Sir Anerood Jugnauth also symbolised stability and never posed any threat to his leadership nor was there any conflict in running the affairs of the state. There was a mutual respect for the powers of each office, both the office of the Prime Minister and the office of the President.
Navin Ramgoolam always said that he has a profound respect for the democratic institutions set up since our independence in 1968. He was always abiding by protocol on all occasions and given precedence to the President, be it official or not.
Since then, I had seen the unraveling of the processes of this alliance. In Parliament, the MSM has always behaved as a reasonable and responsible opposition with Nando Bodha as the Leader of the Opposition. However, this was not to the liking of the MMM.
So much so, that the MMM broke the Jugnauth family by getting Ashok Jugnauth to form his own political party and challenge the leadership of Pravind Jugnauth. It helped Joe Lesjongard, the President of the party and Shekar Naidu to cross the floor and the PMSD to withdraw its support and form the MMM in the Opposition, thus making Paul Berenger leader of the Opposition.
Sir Aneerod Jugnauth and the MSM never forgave Paul Berenger and the MMM for their treacherous actions. Pravin Jugnauth has consistently maintained that he will never make an alliance with the MMM, that Paul Berenger and MMM were not worthy of trust. Few prominent members of the MSM continually worked to materialize this alliance.
And the God sent opportunity came during the by-election of constituency No. 8 when Navin Ramgoolam and the Labour party decided to support Pravin Jugnauth. It was a test case for both the supporters of the Labour party and the MSM to work together. This resulted into a very convincing victory of Pravin Jughnauth over the MMM.
On the other hand, other forces were at work to consolidate the PMXD, the Mouvement Republicain was dissolved and Rama Valayden became the Secretary General. The leader of the PMSD, Maurice Allet joined Xavier Luc Duval along with his followers. Les Verts fraternels of Sylvio Michel were fully satisfied with all the actions taken by the government.
The Government had set up the Commission Justice et Verité, the Fisherman Welfare Fund and made 19 000 dwellers of the ‘cités’ owners of their houses. Also, it set up the Empowerment Fund for the vulnerable groups and moreover, targeted the CSR Fund for the weak and the poor.
The Labour party also absorbed the Mouvement Social Democrate of Anil Bachoo within its ranks. The MMM had foreseen the constitution of this alliance and had realised that it will stand no chance to win an election on its own. Also, it took some actions to consolidate itself in order to be able to negotiate an alliance with a position of strength.It admitted within its ranks Madan Dulloo and his party; made the like of Dinesh Ramjuttun as guest candidate; made Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo its shadow finance minister; brought in Satish Boolell, Vijay Makhan and some other Hindu intellectuals within its party.
Some other forces led by Jean Claude de l’Estrac and Cassam Uteem and the mainstream press wanted an MMM-Labour alliance at all costs. Such a sad state to see a leader of the clibre of Paul Berenger begging for an alliance!
At a launching ceremony of a book, written by the Chief Minister of Uttrakhand at MGI during the last Mahashivaratree festival, the Prime Minister said that all these people wanted an alliance just to join government and enjoy the perks of power and not to serve the people.
For me, it was then clear that as per his nature, he will talk to everybody but he will take his own decision. It is well known that Rama Sithanen has said that Navin Ramgoolam is the most presidential of prime ministers.
Many people, the ministers, socio-cultural leaders and businessmen think that they can influence him. On the contrary, he lends a very attentive ear to them, sometimes for hours with a smile, but he never abdicates his responsibility for decision making.
Navin Ramgoolam is friendly to many journalists. He talks to them in confidence and they all take the liberty, often of making suggestions on several issues. By now, they have learnt that listening to them does not mean that he accepted blindly their suggestions.
Some people advocated that the MMM-Labour alliance would have consolidated national unity. How sad that the MMM which had unleashed so much hopes and dreams in the 1970’s of ‘ene seul le pep, ene seul nation’ culminating in its historic victory in 1982 is today reduced to represent only a small section of the population.
It would have been unhealthy for democracy if Navin Ramgoolam had accepted MMM’s offer for an alliance. In fact, it would have been hijacking of the democratic process. The MMM should go back on its basics and reinvent itself and face the consequences of the electoral process.
The Bleu-Blanc-Rouge alliance is a natural alliance. Since 1983, in one form of the other, except for brief interludes, it was the Bleu Blanc Rouge alliance which had led the country and ensured its progress. It is healthy that the MMM is in the opposition and the Prime Minister has taken the right decision to form the Bleu Blanc Rouge alliance.
The electorate is supreme. Let us wait for its verdict.
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