The talks about a united opposition for 2019 Lok Sabha elections have been doing rounds for quite some time now. The opposition has joined hands every time BJP suffered a loss in the by-elections or the state elections hailing it as the end of the Modi-era. Be it the Punjab state elections or the recent by-elections held in Uttar Pradesh in March 2018. The BJP and allies winning almost all the state elections since 2014 does not matter to the united opposition leaders who keep pinning the blame of BJP’s defeat on PM Modi. The leaders from all the state and national parties except BJP have handy excuses for their shameful defeat. Their ‘dream alliance project’ is nothing more than the coming together of dissimilar ideologies in a disheartened and often disjointed effort to stop the Modi wave. The same wave which cost them the elections in 2014. They remember the loss as well as the severity of the defeat.
The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Raman Singh has claimed that there will be no difficulty in Prime Minister Narendra Modi being re-elected to the post in 2019.
He questioned the reliability of the alliance being made at the national level by parties which fight against each other at the state level. The small regional groups will not be able to provide an alternative to Mr. Modi at the national level. The loss of parliamentary by-polls held recently in Uttar Pradesh is not a serious enough issue according to Mr. Raman Singh as he claimed that it was not going to affect the results of Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2019. Raman Singh was re-elected in 2013 for the 3rd time to the post of Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh. He has received praise for his organizational capabilities which helped improve the condition of Scheduled Tribes and Castes in his home state. He has been the CM of Chhattisgarh since 2003 and is also the longest serving Chief Minister from BJP. A person who has been praised even by the opposition in Chhattisgarh for his anti-Naxal Salwa-Judum initiative, he is known as a man of action.
Comparing the present day united opposition to the one faced by Mrs. Indira Gandhi during her reign, Raman Singh further said, “Once upon a time it was Indira (Gandhi) versus all and now it is Modiji versus all. This is happening because of Modiji’s rising popularity. Some smaller parties can polarize in an effort to stop him but they would not succeed. They cannot emerge victorious against Modiji’s popularity”.
He questioned Congress’s dream of returning to power in 2019 considering they are constantly being defeated in state elections. The regional parties have a combined fear of Mr. Modi. The lack of common interests and a multitude of differences between the agendas and the voter bases of the parties will lead to a downfall of the united opposition before 2019 elections. He pointed towards West Bengal by stating that “How long can (West Bengal Chief Minister) Mamata Banerjee be a friend of Congress at national level and enemy at state level. This is not going to sustain.”
The Modi wave of 2014 and subsequent wins of the NDA in state elections held across the country have made many parties lose their minds. They are on the verge being insignificant in post-2014 Indian political culture. The public has seen the difference between “good governance” of BJP era and the hollow talks of the yesteryear. This is the primary cause of concern for the united opposition who look forward to weaving a net, the net which will be used to trap anyone who cannot see beyond the appealing but false promises before the 2019 elections.
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