The result of the 14-pary Oikyafront talks was an anti-climax, and the only positive that one could take away was the understanding between the two that the opposition would be allowed to conduct political activities without being hindered, although that is guaranteed by the constitution and a given in any democratic setup, but not in ours. It was also encouraging to see that despite the continued differences in respective positions on several issues there was no rancour or acerbity in the statements of either side following the conclusion of talks.
It was indeed disheartening to see anything of real substance emerge from the talks. If anything, the non-committal stance of the AL was very evident and even more palpable was its effort to hide behind a screen of “cannot go beyond the constitution” argument betraying its denial mode. Vagueness still persists on several sticky issues and we are not sure how the moot point, of credibility and probity of the election process would be ensured. If AL considers the constitution a bar to any action, it is for the party, being in the driving seat, to suggest alternatives remaining within the constitution, to overcome the impediment.
The opposition for its part could suggest options, remaining within the constitution too, to address the various demands, and offer its own solutions. In this regard a joint expert committee could be set up to study the issues and come up with doable answers without breaching constitutional provisions. Given the various points at issue, one would expect the ruling party to engage the major opposition in more than just a one-off meeting.