Nitish emerges face of the Opposition; Torrid time ahead for Modi govt.

As Nitish emerges as the face of the opposition, Modi govt. will have a torrid time ahead
As Nitish emerges as the face of the opposition, Modi govt. will have a torrid time ahead

New Delhi

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]I[/dropcap]n May last year when the BJP rode to power with 282 seats and reduced the Congress tally to a mere 44, the Opposition camp was a picture of gloom and despair. A series of victories in state assembly polls further established the supremacy of the BJP and the ‘cult’ of Narendra Modi. Experts begun to write about an un-interrupted 15-year term for Modi and the Prime minister himself began to talk about “Congress mukt bharat.”

In one blow, the Bihar poll rout has changed that perception altogether. The euphoria in the Opposition camp is going to transform into something more tangible than momentarily celebration. It could be , beginning of the coming together of the anti-BJP forces under one umbrella and Nitish Kumar’s emergence as the face of Opposition against Modi at national level.

The victory for the Grand Alliance has also given a fresh lease of life to RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, who would go all out to seek a stay on his conviction a la Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.

Had the NDA won the polls, it would have marked the end of the political journey of Lalu Prasad, who would have neither age nor stamina to carry on with his ‘Mandal raj’ dream. For Nitish, who is a few years younger to Lalu, the setback would have also delivered a deadly blow to his political ambitions.

Now, Nitish and Lalu are expected to play a key role in bringing together regional forces on one platform and persuade the Congress to admit that its “Yuvraj’ Rahul Gandhi would not be ready to put up a challenge against Modi in 2019 Lok sabha polls. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banejree, who openly backed Nitish during the campaign, are also expected to play a crucial role in cementing the unity of the Opposition.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]A[/dropcap]s of now, Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is unlikely to be a part of any such formation. The SP supremo is now considered a suspect in the ‘secular’ camp after he walked of the Janata parivar and tried his best to help the BJP by splitting the Grand alliance votes by floating a third front in Bihar. Pressure will now come on Mayawati to join the opposition grouping ahead of the 2017 Uttar Pradesh elections. Her stupendous performance in the recent UP panchayat elections must have been a wakeup call both for the BJP and the SP. The average Muslim has reason to doubt Mulayam’s anti-BJP credentials after what he did in Bihar. In such a case, Mayawati may aggressively try to revive the Dalit-Muslim combination. The BSP chief is not known to enter pre-poll alliance, but if she is a part of a broader Opposition group, anything could happen. After all, before the Bihar polls, who could have thought Nitish and Lalu will join hands?

Modi’s direct and personal attack against the Opposition leaders and their vicious criticism by the likes of Amit Shah, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu have created an atmosphere of hostility in which neither the Congress nor the regional satraps are likely to come to the aid of the Government in running the parliament. The defeat will make the Opposition more aggressive on the issue of “intolerance” and the parliament could see major uproar over the Sangh Parivar’s ‘Hindutava’ agenda in two weeks from now.

[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]F[/dropcap]or better part of his 18-month-old tenure Modi ruled like a ‘monarch”, but now he will have to climb down from the high pedestal and engage in conciliatory politic. If not, the country would be headed for period of bitter political hostility , which will paralyze the parliament , and bring to a halt the process of the revival of the economy.

All eyes will now be on Nitish, who is already being seen as the next Prime ministerial candidate of the opposition against Modi.

Navin Upadhyay

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