Opposition sans Congress building?

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It seems that the opposition wants to make the most of the situation against the incumbent government. The political circles are abuzz with rumors that the opposition parties are trying to form some kind of a coalition to take on BJP for the coming general elections in 2024 and many believe that TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee is likely to emerge as the Prime ministerial candidate. Well, obviously this is a non-congress-led opposition coalition we are thinking about. But if the rumors are to be believed, political strategist Prashant Kishor is himself working on it. After his run-away success with Mamata Banerjee’s victory during the last West Bengal assembly elections and DMK’s MK Stalin in Tamil Nadu, it seems that the BJP is in a fix. Earlier Kishore was instrumental in the victory of Capt Amrinder Singh during the 2017 assembly elections and Arvind Kejriwal’s victory in the Delhi assembly elections.

However, how strong will this alliance be without the backing of a major national party? In the past NDA coalition led by BJP and Congress-led UPA coalition gave stable governments for a full Lok Sabha term because they were led by a strong national party, which had at least around 150 members of parliament from the main coalition partner. Unfortunately, in the present political scenario, the opposition parties are not confident of the principal coalition partner, Congress, getting 150 seats on its own. With Congress losing ground in almost every state, the opposition parties fear that congress will be more of a burden than being the leader of the coalition. Experts say that the people want change but they seem to be not very much inclined towards congress. Rather, they believe that if the disenchantment of people with BJP grows further, the regional parties could garner more votes in states like Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala, and perhaps Haryana, Punjab, Goa and North Eastern states. Even in Punjab Akalis may join this coalition as they are in no mood to join the NDA due to trust deficit. In Maharashtra Shiv Sena has already ditched BJP and in North-Eastern states, many of the regional parties could join any coalition depending upon which side the wind blows. Having said this, this sort of broad coalition will work only if these parties do well and manage to get more than 200 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. And this is going to be a tough task.

On the other hand, the Modi-Amit Shah combine is a strong team and has an almost impeccable electoral strategy. Besides, it has an entire RSS cadre base to work for BJP apart from its own committed cadres. Nevertheless, the BJP will not leave any stone unturned to expose the opposition as most of the parties are dynastic. This has and will be a major trump card that the BJP will want to fully exploit. Though BJP has many politicians who are dynasts, the top leadership has so far avoided this tag just in the case of communist parties. There are so many ifs and buts but how far this grand coalition becomes a reality, only time will tell and the Lok Sabha elections are scheduled to take place in 2024. Before that one will have to watch the performance of opposition parties in assembly elections scheduled for 2022 and 2023 closely.

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