While defending his government on the issue of job creation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that selling "pakodas" is also a decent source of earning a livelihood and in his tenure, such avenues are increasing. On expected lines, sharp reactions followed. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has launched a campaign to unite all opposition parties to fight the bjp. It is reported that in all her meetings with leaders of the opposition parties "pakoda" is invariably served. We have to wait and see whether Mamata Banerjee's "pakoda" politics succeeds, but there is a need to assess the history of opposition unity in Indian politics.

Morarji Desai, the first non-congress Prime Minister of India

Not so long ago most political parties in India united to fight the Congress party. The anti-emergency movement led to the formation of Janata Party. It chose Morarji Desai as the Prime Minister who was essentially a congressman. He was a Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister under Indira Gandhi. He was strongly against nationalization of banks by Indira Gandhi. But the irony is that the pro-business Morarji Desai had to lead a socialist Janata Party government, and the government could not manage its internal differences for long, and the inevitable had happened.

The tenure of Vishwanath Pratap Singh

Likely, Morarji Desai, Vishwanath Pratap Singh was also a veteran congressman.He was a Congress Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh and also held senior positions in Rajiv Gandhi cabinet.

Subsequently, he led a big coalition against the Congress party and with "outside" support of the BJP and the left, he became the Prime Minister of India in 1989. The BJP which was fast becoming a major national party by then had decided to galvanize the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation and subsequently withdrew its support to the government.

We also had Congress supported coalition governments in the 1990s. But all the governments were short lived. In the last five years, opposition unity aims to form an "anti-BJP" front. The proposed anti-BJP front is yet to find a leader like Morarji Desai or Vishwanath Pratap Singh. We will have to wait and watch if Mamata Banerjee can assume that role.

But again here is a point to be noted. Mamata Banerjee was an ally of the BJP during the first NDA regime.

We will also have to see if the voters would accept the basic point of the anti-BJP front that democracy and constitution are in danger in India now.

Instead of rhetoric, the anti-BJP front should have a clear economic agenda. The front should be able to articulate on how it proposes to create jobs which is considered as the biggest failure of the Modi led government.