Will a united Opposition be able to stop Modi-Shah juggernaut in 2019 Lok Sabha polls?
New Delhi, June 5: The political space of the country is fast changing, thanks to an emboldened Opposition which is all set to take on the mighty Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the big 2019 General Elections.
Post the Karnataka Assembly elections and the by-polls in 11 states, where a united Opposition managed to keep the BJP out of power, now, all the anti-BJP forces, which also include the Congress, have got a template to defeat the saffron party in the Lok Sabha polls next year.
The anti-BJP parties--the Trinamool Congress, Janata Dal (Secular), Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Telugu Desam Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Samajwadi Party and others--have realised it well that to stop the BJP's winning chariot they have to come together by forgetting all their differences and past battles.
It was not that the unity among these parties had been there for a long time. It is a pretty recent phenomenon. In fact, most of the anti-BJP parties were either with the BJP or maintaining a neutral stand till last year.
One party that was dilly-dallying on whether to openly oppose the Narendra Modi government over its various policies in the last four years is none other than the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). Now, the NCP has come out in support of a united Opposition against the BJP.
Speaking to ANI, NCP chief and former Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar expressed his happiness over the coming together of all opposition parties against the BJP.
"I am happy that all opposition parties are coming together to defeat the BJP. We want democracy to prevail in this country. I support the idea of a united opposition," added Pawar.
I am happy that all the opposition parties are coming together to defeat BJP. We want Democracy to prevail in this country. I support the idea of a united opposition: Sharad Pawar, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) pic.twitter.com/ZPyJMSww8G— ANI (@ANI) June 5, 2018
In May, during the swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy, Pawar too took part in the mega event which saw top leaders from almost all opposition parties. In fact, it was during the swearing-in ceremony in Bengaluru where the leaders of opposition parties came together to show their strength and unity under one platform.
The friendship between different political parties got further cemented as they fought the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly by-polls together. The strategy of the Opposition worked well as it managed to defeat the BJP in 11 out of 14 seats where voting took place in the recent by-polls.
Although a formal alliance among the Opposition is yet to be announced, looking at the current scenario it is pretty clear that the anti-BJP forces are going to fight almost all the upcoming elections together.
The BJP, on its part, is maintaining that the unity among opposition parties is "opportunistic" as they are hungry for power. The BJP predicted that the unity among its rivals won't last for long. But sources say the saffron party is worried about the Opposition unity and trying its best to create rift among the anti-BJP forces.
Political analysts say that opposition parties' unity depend a lot on how they would keep their individual interests and aspirations aside and give utmost importance to strengthen friendship among themselves.
Experts add that the Opposition simply can't go on and bash Prime Minister Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to woo voters. The opposition parties have to come up with a common manifesto and tell the voters what they are planning to do for the country if they win the elections in 2019.
With all these bottlenecks, it looks like the Opposition has to work really hard to keep its flock together till the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.