The exit polls for Maharashtra and Haryana have predictably shown the BJP victory. In Maharashtra, it will be the BJP-Shiv Senacombine which seems due to rule for another term. Similarly in Haryana, the ManoharLalKhattar’s government is expected to continue for another term. However, it hardly needed exit polls for people to make up their mind about the outcome of these polls. The reason for this is the disintegration of opposition in the country following the landslide victory of the BJP in the general elections. More so, the Congress which is currently being headed by an interim president. Ever since the resignation of Rahul Gandhi in the immediate wake of the general polls, the party has failed to elect a new president. The party has also witnessed exit of many a senior and middle-rung leaders which has left it in tatters, incapable of mounting a challenge to the BJP. The situation of the other opposition parties is also in no way different. None of them is in a position to take on the BJP in their strongholds. The BJP thus currently enjoys a walkover in every electoral exercise across the state. Many observers in the country don’t see this healthy for the democracy. The abysmal state of opposition in the country has made India an almost one-party democracy.
Prime minister Narendra Modi is now the undisputed pan-India leader. And there’s none who can match up to his overpowering charisma and a talent for outreach. Also, in the form of the home minister Amit Shah he has an incomparable organiser and a strategist. Under him, the party’s electoral machinery has no match. In contrast, opposition parties including Congress are seen fighting over scraps. They are bereft of a vision and a narrative. They also look ideologically emasculated. Hindutva is now the reigning creed of the country. Extraordinary steps like the revocation of Article 370 have further rooted the ideology in the psyche of the people. Brightening prospect of building of Ram Mandiris also going tohelp the electoral prospects of the BJP in the months and years to come.
If the opposition has to match up to the BJP, it has to go back to the drawing board and rethink its politics.Congress, for one, has to pave way for an inner party democracy. Its exclusive reliance on Gandhis has stunted its growth and evolution as a party. Rahul Gandhi has time and again proved he is no match to Modi. Congress has to pave way for a new leader who is able to chart a future for the party independent of Gandhis. The foregone conclusion for Maharashtra and Haryana polls should be a wake up call for Congress and also for other parties.