The Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stupendous success in the general elections has left the opposition in India in disarray. More so, the Congress which could just add eight more seats to its 2014 tally. It almost appears that the Congress may have to begin from a scratch to learn to take on as overarching a leader as Narendra Modi. And for starters, it needs a change of leadership at the top. But it seems unlikely to happen. Although in its Congress Working Committee meeting, the president Rahul Gandhi did resign, it was unanimously rejected by the party. Reports say Gandhi is still insisting on his resignation but the party is unlikely to agree to this. The party has its own reasons to do so: a Gandhi not being at the helm will run the risk of breaking the party up. Also, in the present circumstances, Congress doesn’t boost of many mass leaders -albeit, there are many senior politicians who can be worthy successors to Gandhi. The just concluded election has once again shown that Gandhi is not just up to the task.
The situation is not any better among other parties. The countrys secular opposition is in tatters and fighting over scraps. There is no major pan-India leader to take on the overarching persona of Modi. While Rahul Gandhi and many others look like minions, the likes of Mamta Banerjee and Mayawati who once showed signs of shaping up into credible rivals have too paled into significance. The caste based parties in Uttar Pradesh who were only hope to stop Modis juggernaut have bitten the dust. And they are unlikely to recover from the beating they took in recent polls.
It is now clear that the Modi wave remains alive and kicking. After a few reverses here and there over the past five years, Modi’s appeal has only grown stronger. He is now certain to win many more Assembly polls, more so, the election in West Bengal next year. That is if no credible opposition emerges from the shadows in the near future, a prospect which looks bleak.
The deft blend of ideology and the grassroots organization under Modis charismatic leadership is expected to help the BJP triumph in future polls. While the opposition is reeling from the abject defeat the BJP is busy setting up its base in the states where it lacks the presence. And considering its electoral machinery has become all-encompassing, it is in future likely to get a political foothold in the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. A reasonable success in South after the political dominance in North will make the BJP invincible. Also compared to the BJP, the opposition has no discourse, just a reactive narrative.
The BJP, on the other hand, can always bank upon its strong ideological dimension. And when all else fails, the BJP raises Muslim bogey to try and forge a monolithic Hindu vote bank. The strategy has been a factor in the rise of BJP as a national party, up from two seats in 1984 polls. Things can still turn around for the opposition and also for India if the opposition too develops a potent narrative that offers a regenerative alternative to the one being plied by the BJP.