India is also known as the biggest democracy in the world. Democracy in India has been vibrant and strong. But, under thinly concealed cover lies the sign of a drained democracy.
Indian democracy witnessed a shift with the win of BJP in the 2014 Parliament elections. At present, the BJP government has a majority at the national level. BJP has governments in more than 9 Indian states. It has a stronghold on Indian democracy. If we speculate about the future of BJP, then we can safely assume that it is tough to get BJP out of power. The reason is that there are no alternatives for the voters except BJP.
Critics might point out that BJP is struggling to win at the state level. But, at the national level, we cannot deny that there is a lack of alternatives. The opposition is divided with a lack of strong and united leadership.
There can be plenty of reasons for the voters to look for an alternative. During 2014, PM Modi made several promises to the voters and the most important one being ‘Acche din’. Some things did fall in place, but the others were left out.
There has been a constant use of religious references in the political sphere, setbacks in the economy, illegal border infiltration, etc that have been a few drawbacks of the government. The government struggled to handle the issue of NRC, Farmers’ protest and there was mismanagement in the handling of the second wave of Covid-19.
All those who want the BJP government out of power are left with just one question: What is the alternative? The biggest opponent for BJP at the centre is the Indian National Congress. Congress is the oldest political party in India, and it has been in power for more than 60 years after India’s Independence. But, it was left with only 53 seats in comparison to BJP that won more than 300 seats in 2019.
In two consecutive parliamentary elections, Congress has won the lowest number of seats in its history. There is a lack of strong leadership in the Party and to convince voters to trust it, Congress needs an internal revival. The internal conflicts in the Party have become public and the senior leaders of Congress are openly criticizing the politics and working of the party.
The regional parties in India have surely managed to defeat the BJP in some states. But, those parties are confined to their regions. The leaders of those parties with popular personalities have become the CM of the states. It is difficult to say if these parties can win the support of the voters in other states too.
After gaining a massive victory against BJP in West Bengal, CM Mamata Banerjee is trying to unite opposition parties against BJP. But, she has left Congress out from this effort that has drawn flak from the Party. Overall, there is a situation of internal conflict in the opposition itself. All these activities have allowed BJP to gain an upper hand. The other national parties like TMC, CPI, CPI (M), TMC, NCP, and NCC are trying to strengthen their foothold at regional levels. It is difficult for them with limited seats to solely challenge the BJP. Even the AAP has been trying to form a government in more than one state. But, the election results will tell its future.
Before the 2019 elections, the opposition leaders gathered at one stage with an initiative by CM Mamta Banerjee making the impression that they are united. But, many important parties were left out and again things did not materialize. Surely, the voters don’t want to repeat the history of coalition governments that were engrossed in maintaining the majority.
We can say that to emerge as a potential opposition alternative, the Congress party needs to work on itself. Regional parties will have to adopt a more wide perspective beyond their regional interests. There is a need for a strong leader who can cut through the interest of political parties morally and politically. Also, to guide the Opposition to unity. Only then India can get an alternative to PM Modi and BJP. The presence of more than one option for the voters will strengthen democracy in India.