India’s PM Modi is likely to win a rare third term in office, but by how big a margin?


The main opposition political group, the Congress Party, won 52 seats in 2019, up just slightly from the 44 in 2014 when they were voted out of office after governing India for decades.

It has formed an alliance with other opposition parties – the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance – for a real shot at toppling the BJP.

Dr Nachiappan said the opposition remains resilient in some states, especially in southern and eastern India, where the BJP is in a competitive fight for most seats. 

The opposition has vowed to boost social spending and reverse what it views as India’s slide into autocracy.

But the bloc of more than 25 parties seems to be in crisis, as it faces defections, infighting and a crackdown by India’s law enforcement agencies. 

These parties have claimed that the Modi government is targeting only opposition politicians in its crackdown on alleged corruption, a charge that the BJP denied.

A spate of recent defections to the BJP is also a problem for the opposition. 

Out of the candidates listed by the BJP so far for the upcoming elections, 28 per cent are defectors, and most of them were with the Congress before joining the ruling party. 

Former Union minister Milind Deora, for instance, announced in January he was quitting the Congress Party and defected to the faction of a regional party in Mumbai – the Shiv Sena, backed by the BJP. 

He criticised Congress’s leadership for being inaccessible and not allowing talented youngsters to participate in decision-making processes.

“When anyone in any organisation, whether you are in a political or a private organisation, if your merit is not rewarded, your capability and capacity is used against you, and mediocrity is encouraged, it is natural that people will move on,” he said. 

Observers said the opposition coalition is fragile. For months, the alliance struggled to put up a united front and iron out differences over seat sharing. 

“Opposition parties have failed on two counts,” said political analyst Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay. 

“One is to stitch an all-India opposition which actually unites parties, where in every state, there is one opposition candidate against the BJP candidate. That has not worked. The second thing is in terms of an idea. What is the alternative to Mr Modi’s India that you are going to present? That has not been communicated to the people of India.”

There is also no clear prime ministerial candidate for the opposition, said Dr Nachiappan. 

“So that’s a weakness, and that’s a weakness that the BJP is now exploiting in its own campaign.”

While Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi – whose father, grandmother and great-grandfather were all prime ministers – remains the most recognisable face of the opposition bloc, there are disagreements on whether he should be the one to front the alliance. 

SOURCE: CNA ( RSS Latest News   (go to source)
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