Things currently appear to be completely in favour of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been the party’s infallible poll mascot. While his confidence is at its peak the opposition appears to be in disarray with constituents of INDIA not in agreement over a number of issues.
Confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) is at an all-time high after the party’s sweeping victory in three major state elections in December. The party sees the results as a guarantee that Modi will be performing a hat-trick of victories with a win in the next general elections.
Given the current political landscape of the country there is a wide consensus that a win for Modi is the most plausible outcome of the elections to be held a few months from now. At the national level the situation seems heavily tilted in favour of BJP. While regional opposition to the BJP is strong mainly in south India, at the national level there is no denying the virtual monopoly of BJP. The main opposition Indian National Congress party won the state election in Telangana but is in power in only three states overall.
The recently formed coalition of all major opposition parties – which goes by the acronym INDIA – continues to be divided over crucial issues including who its prime ministerial candidate would be. The BJP has begun a nationwide campaign with its roadshow, Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra, hogging the headlines.
The BJP’s recent domination in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh has reaffirmed the popularity of Modi. Though a prime minister generally has little to do with state elections the BJP strategically put Modi front and centre of its campaigns in the states.
Modi’s messaging in these campaign speeches combined an emphasis on the BJP-led government’s welfare schemes. Modi’s role in elevating India as a global power was also prominent.
Modi came to power in 2014 largely on the back of an anti-incumbency wave while his re-election victory in 2019 was secured after India carried out airstrikes on Pakistan, after a terrorist incident a few months before the polls. These created a wave in favour of Modi.
However, whether the BJP this time will win the same sort of sweeping parliamentary majority it secured in 2019 is unclear. Its position in certain crucial states, such as Bihar and Maharashtra, is uncertain.
One of the biggest issues likely to dominate the BJP’s agenda is the long-awaited opening of the Ram Mandir, a grand Hindu temple. The construction of the temple at Ayodhya has long been a focal point of the Hindu nationalist movement in India, and the fanfare around Modi’s inauguration of the temple is expected to be a national event.
Things currently appear to be completely in favour of the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has been the party’s infallible poll mascot. While his confidence is at its peak the opposition appears to be in disarray with constituents of INDIA not in agreement over a number of issues. With its leaders speaking in different voices over crucial issues the message that goes out is that of disunity which will only help the BJP. Unless the opposition succeeds in putting up a united face it will be extremely difficult for it to challenge Modi in the coming elections with any degree of confidence.