ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Opposition in Search of a Viable Alternative

The task of defending democracy makes the broadest unity of the opposition an imperative.

The formation of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) seems to have unsettled the ruling party at the union government. The Prime Minister’s invective-laden attack on this alliance of the 26 opposition parties is a sign that the significant moves towards the opposition unity are being perceived as a threat to the electoral political calculations of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The hurried move to hold a meeting of the NDA in Delhi on the very same day as the opposition parties were meeting at Bengaluru and the urge to show that the number of parties that are part of it is larger than that in the INDIA betrays the anxiety on part of the ruling leadership. Notwithstanding their bluster and boasts about having brought 38 parties together under the umbrella of the NDA, the ruling party and its leadership know very well that most of these 38 parties have only marginal to negligible electoral presence, whereas the INDIA consists of parties that have substantial electoral presence across the states and also proven governing capabilities in the states as well as the union.

Therefore, the ruling party seems to be resorting to ridiculing or disparaging the choice of the name for the opposition alliance, attempting to engineer defections or splits in the opposition parties, misusing central agencies as pressure tactics and ultimately banking on the internal contradictions within the opposition alliance to create fissures. For example, the split in the Nationalist Congress Party can be seen as a desperate measure by the BJP to prevent the consolidation of popular support behind the Maha Vikas Aghadi—the constituents of which are significant parts of the INDIA—and recover some electoral ground in the second largest state in terms of Lok Sabha seats, where it could well end up facing notable reverses.

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Updated On : 5th Aug, 2023
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