Opposition in Disarray – Onus on INC to take the lead

India needs an opposition who’s agenda should be ‘India’ not ‘Modi Hatao’.

India needs an opposition who’s agenda should be ‘India’ not ‘Modi Hatao’.
India needs an opposition who’s agenda should be ‘India’ not ‘Modi Hatao’.

One look at Modi and BJP, voters see confidence while on the other hand, the lacklustre opposition led by Congress are seen as entitled.

Family or Party

Hold of the family on the grand old party is so strong that there’s no claimant for Congress’ top job even after 2 disastrous poll defeats. There’s no one in the Congress party of today who is willing to step up and put up a fight for Congress’ top job challenging their failed Gandhi leadership. Congress is facing a double whammy – it neither has the right leadership nor has a clear ideology. No one in the Congress can clearly articulate what it’s ideology is and their President Rahul Gandhi is probably the least articulate to communicate that vision to India.

In today’s India, especially after 2019 Lok Sabha polls – Ideology & Leadership have come across as clear topics or issues the masses see themselves aligning to. Congress failed on both fronts while BJP & Modi clearly presented their A-game. BJP has rarely shied away from it’s ‘Integral Humanism’ & ‘Nationalism’ ideology and Narendra Modi has more than cemented himself as the strongest leader India has seen in the last 40 years.

What the opposition is unable to deliver, even in their crushing defeat is – a functional and credible opposition in Parliament which can put checks & balances on the Government.

The Modi Phenomenon

One could argue, Nehru & Indira were probably considered India’s most successful political leaders. However, a deeper look into their political history and background, compare & contrast that to Narendra Modi, one can very objectively say – Modi is the most successful political leader India has seen since 1947.

Let’s jump straight to his success story – 12 Years, 7 months & 16 days as Chief Minister of Gujarat & 5 Years as Prime Minister of India – that’s 17 and a half years in power straight, without personally losing a single election. A man who’s come from an extremely humble background that even his worst distractors cannot challenge has worked his way to the top job in the country through pure hard work, grit & determination. Of course, Modi has strong RSS & BJP foundations which helped his cause but, by and large, Indian polity is controlled and dictated by Modi.

Challenges for Opposition

Credibility is at stake for the opposition today. Their perception is that of a bunch of dynastic, authoritarian, spineless, selfish people struggling to hold on to power with no vision for the country. Their problems are further accentuated by the complete breakdown of opposition unity on ideologies and principles. Voters have rejected their “Modi Hatao” agenda with a thumping roar. What the opposition is unable to deliver, even in their crushing defeat is – a functional and credible opposition in Parliament which can put checks & balances on the Government.

Indian National Congress

Leader Seats Plus Minus Opposition to NDA 3.0
2014 Sonia/Rahul 44 Face saver from Kerala Communication, Leadership, Rampant Corruption n/a
2019 Rahul Gandhi 52 Captain Singh’s leadership in Punjab and Kerala performance The negative and shrill campaign, No vision other than ‘Modi Hatao’. CP Rahul Gandhi losing family bastion. Leadership is authoritarian and Dynastic. Negligible unless they have constructive Criticism

 

DMK

Leader Seats What worked? What did not work? Opposition to NDA 3.0
2014 Karunanidhi 0 Nothing could withstand the Amma Tsunami in T.N. Lacklustre campaign and messaging from DMK n/a
2019 M. K. Stalin 23 Complete decimation and trust among voters in AIADMK after Amma’s death. Power mongering between different AIADMK Factions benefited DMK The first election since K. Karunanidhi’s death. Some initial confusion regarding DMK Leadership. Leadership is authoritarian and dynastic. Medium. T.N. bucked the Modi wave and resoundingly stood behind DMK + INC alliance

 

YSR Congress Party

Leader Seats Plus Minus Opposition to NDA3.0
2014 YS Jagan Mohan Reddy 8 Capturing the opposition space from Congress after the rushed partition of the state. Lack of experience and no clear narrative versus TDP on Andhra Pradesh n/a
2019 YS Jagan Mohan Reddy 22 ‘Padyatra’ and successfully building one of the strongest anti-incumbency against the state Govt. YS Jagan’s personal connect with Voters Authoritarian and all control with one leader, Dynastic leadership. Extremely Negligible, as YS Jagan would be looking at NDA 3.0 for sops to fulfil his poll promises.

 

Trinamool Congress

Leader Seats Plus Minus Opposition to NDA3.0
2014 Mamata Banerjee 34 No opposition to Mamata and high on Bengali Pride All that could go right for Mamata went right. n/a
2019 Mamata Banerjee 22 Muslim vote consolidated lock, stock and barrel behind Mamata Major Hindu resentment, Jai Shri Ram episode made it worse for Mamata Credible, provided she goes back to her agenda of “Maa, Maati & Manush” and stops Muslim appeasement. She’s the only opposition leader worth her salt to give Modi 3.0 tough competition.

 

Biju Janata Dal

Leader Seats What worked? What did not work? Opposition to NDA 3.0
2014 Naveen Patnaik 20 Trust of the voters Everything worked for BJD in 2014 n/a
2019 Naveen Patnaik 12 Trust of the voters Lazy campaigning by BJD made it possible for BJP to make inroads in Odisha. However, for State elections, no major impact by BJP was seen Negligible. Naveen Patnaik is a true centrist. Not leaning towards INC or BJP and maintaining equal distance from both. On Policies which help the country, he usually supports NDA Govt.

 

TRS

Leader Seats What worked? What did not work? Opposition to NDA3.0
2014 KCR 11 Popularity and sympathy wave for Telangana Statehood campaign Confusion on equation with TDP, IN, BJP n/a
2019 KCR 9 TINA factor plays out in favour of KCR as also seen during Assembly elections in Dec 2018 Loss of ‘development’ narrative and minority appeasement. With 4 seats for BJP in LS 2019, BJP smells blood in Telangana State. Minor. TRS is seen to be an unspoken ally of the NDA Govt.

 

TDP

Leader Seats What worked? What did not work? Opposition to NDA3.0
2014 Chandrababu Naidu 16 TINA factor in AP, Modi wave & lack of genuine campaigning by Jagan Ceded too much importance to Pawan Kalyan in 2014, which hurt him in 2019. n/a
2019 Chandrababu Naidu 3 Anything & Everything that could go wrong, went wrong. His anti-Modi agenda had no takers. CBN focused too much on the Centre and lost complete trust and focus in his state. None. As of today, he’s lost all credibility as any legitimate opposition leader.

 

NCP, SP has 5 Lok Sabha seats in 2019, same as they did in 2014. While Pawar has lost his importance in the current political scenario and is mostly considered a spent force, Akhilesh despite having age by his side is unable to offer new ideas and has seen to be relying on tried and failed ideas.

A question of Aspirations

Ultimately, voters are looking for someone who can fulfil their aspirations or at least seem to be able to fulfil their aspirations. One look at Modi and BJP, voters see confidence while on the other hand, the lacklustre opposition led by Congress are seen as entitled. It’s relatively straightforward for someone like Smriti Irani to work her way up the ranks in her party, BJP, via sheer talent & hard work. However, the same could not be said about a talented individual like Sachin Pilot in Congress. Irrespective of their talent, Congress leaders derive their position and stature not from work, talent or even the public but, by their proximity to the ‘Family’. Same is the case with Dynastic parties like SP, TDP, TRS, SAD, SS, NCP, NCP, PDP, etc. On the other side, other opposition parties are ‘authoritarian’ parties where the supreme leader of the party is the sole decision maker and for all practical purposes, there’s no democracy like BSP, TMC, AAP.

India has voted against entitlement and the opposition parties represent that. India needs an opposition who’s agenda should be ‘India’ not ‘Modi Hatao’. Right now, India does not see much value-add by the opposition parties & leaders to the democratic process.

Note:
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.

Indraneil Gokhale

Indraneil is a Data-Center performance engineer focusing on ML & HPC. He blogs & does freelance writing on Current Affairs & is a News-Junkie. Indraneil was recently felicitated by the Consulate General of India, SFO as a 'Young Overseas Indian Achiever' in Tech. Indraneil is from Hyderabad, India & currently in Fremont, CA.
Indraneil Gokhale

2 COMMENTS

  1. Why ONLY Italian Nazi Conquistador (Inqusition) Party, led by a illiterate, uncouth, foreigner and filled by with bastrds, mostly pakipanjabis, bangads and Xtians???? I think scientists and REAL INTELLECTUALS know that the DNA carries the genetic information and needs 7 generations to taper off (7 strand DNA of humans) and whether Raul Vinci, Bianca Vinci and her piglets have been born in India or Uganda, they carry the genetic information of their evil, vile, murderous, white skinned demon (all are) mother
    Why not cultured ÏNDIAN”leaders like Naveen Patnaik??? Oh Seems licking the white asses is all in all for many so called Indians,

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