- COLUMN, politics, states

Opposition should avoid contesting by-elections

Why Opposition parties contest  by-elections?

a. One argument is that  Cadre will run away if the party does not fight the by-election. This is an old argument. In fact, the cadre will run away if the Opposition party loses the by-election. The government will tempt them that their party will never come to power. On the  contrary, the cadre will be happy that they are not tested. The cadre also does not  like fights they lose.

b. Another argument is that the government will say we are afraid.  How does it matter what the government says ? In fact, governments will be happy to compromise with oppositions on by-elections so that they are  saved the headaches and worries. The opposition party can say it will not contest to save public money, etc. There are hundreds of good arguments .


  1. c. If the opposition party does not want  to give an easy time to the government and yet give a good fight, it can always put up a strong Independent or someone with great moral stature. Whether the  candidate wins or loses,  it will be worrisome for  the government which will have to cheapen itself  by fighting the election and yet the opposition party will not lose sleep.

Indian political parties should learn from greatest Chinese  thinkers of 2300 years ago. The famous Chinese general Wang Chien said  “Do not overtax your soldiers  Concentrate your energy and hoard your strength. He declined all invitations to fight and remained strictly on the defensive. He won victories with his own tactics.


The Chinese and our ancient Chankya follow the same  ideas;  “War is based on deception.  He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight.

Sun Tzu was a famous Chinese general  who lived in China 2600 years ago. Sun Tzu gave most importance  to surprise in war and politics. He said “Those who are skilled in producing surprises will win . When we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; ” .


Many readers may ask why I quote  Chinese  philosophers. Well, modern day China still follows their every word.  China is still ahead of the world in many  ways.



Dr P. Pulla Rao is a Socio-political and Economic analyst


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