Going by the jubilation in the opposition camp after the poll outcome in five states, it seems the non-BJP parties are confident about dethroning the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the coming general elections. Yes, if the election results are any indication, it clearly points out absence of any wave in favour of BJP. But only that does not guarantee a victory for the opposition. There are a couple of months before the next general elections. Many political developments will take place in these months. So jumping to any conclusion about the outcome of the 2019 general elections will be premature.
Unfortunately leaders of the opposition parties are not in the mood to pay any heed to such warnings. They have already started calculating how many seats they will get and how many ministerial berths they will ask for. A lot of noise is being made in the name of a Grand alliance. But no party is in the mood to rely on a give and take policy. Rather all parties are trying to get as much as possible.
Take the example of Uttar Pradesh. For years, after Congress lost its footing in the most populous State within the country, Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have emerged as the main opponents of BJP. Also, when these two parties came together, the combination always put BJP in trouble. After the dismal show of both the parties in the last Assembly elections in the State, SP and BSP decided to forge an alliance. The alliance had already defeated BJP in its stronghold such as Gorakhpur and Allahabad. The parties have already announced that they will fight the forthcoming general elections together, which is definitely a cause for worry for BJP.
But will the alliance be able to match its past records this time? The question arises as the two parties have shown no interest in accommodating Congress in the alliance. That means there will be no direct contest between BJP and the opposition. Everyone knows that in the case of a triangular contest, it will be advantage BJP. In electoral terms BJP’s tally in Uttar Pradesh may come down marginally, but that would not be enough to keep the party out of power.
Similarly, in West Bengal, there is virtually no possibility of a grand alliance. Trinomool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, it seems has already made up her mind to go alone in the general elections. It is not difficult to understand her game plan. In West Bengal, Mamata wants to make the contest four-cornered to have maximum gains from a divided opposition. Moreover, she is also nursing the dream of becoming the face of the grand alliance in case the opposition comes to a position to form the next government at the Centre. So, arithmetically, no seat adjustment is in sight in 122 seats out of 542 parliamentary seats in the country.
If a divided opposition in West Bengal may help Mamata, it should not be forgotten that BJP can also be benefited from the divisions in the opposition camp. So to win the forthcoming electoral battle against BJP, opposition parties should give a proper thought to the ground realities. Victory will not be achieved just by raising ‘BJP Hatao’ slogan.