Opposition banding together against Modi for next year's poll

When Narendra Modi won office in 2014 with the most resounding victory in three decades the BJP and its allies ruled only states but they are now in power in 21 of them

Opposition banding together against Modi for next year's poll

More importantly, the fallout of this could impact the Midas touch of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Wednesday, Samajwadi Party's Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel defeated BJP's Kaushlendra Singh Patel by 59,460 votes in Phulpur while Pravin Nishad, backed by the Bahujan Samaj Party, defeated his BJP rival by 21,961 votes in Gorakhpur. So, was Amit Shah-Modi magic missing this time? Those who hate Modi have smelt blood and they will put their heart and soul behind the campaign to defeat him. But the party received a major snub from the people. This may be termed low but it is a general trend in the state that by-poll voting percentage is always lesser than in the general polls.

It was only after the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and the famous Rath Yatra of Lal Krishna Advani that the seat came to the BJP. "We were overconfident and took the results for granted and ended up with losses".

He accepted that it was the overconfidence in the party cadre that led to the loss. But there have been two instances very recently which made it an exception. In the subsequent byelections in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, there had been an unambiguous manifestation of the disenchantment of rural voters.

It's definitely possible if they emulate the Bihar model in 2015, that propelled the JDU-RJD-Congress alliance to a win. But they will not be able to stitch up an alliance for the next election (LS polls) because the reality is different. The saffron-clad Yogi Adityanath, who has never lost the Gorakhpur seat since 1991, became the state Chief Minister. "Shiv Sena will fight the 2019 election alone". For the BJP, Adityanath's persona is a shout-out to its core constituency: 'This is who we really are.' He is a reminder of the quality that differentiates the BJP from other parties, its commitment to Hindu supremacy.

Opposition strategists say the only way Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut can be stopped is to join forces and turn 2019 into a "Modi versus the rest" election. The BJP's image of being a party of shetji-bhatji (industrialists and upper castes) will not help it to win the elections nor will chunavi jumlas (poll gimmicks) work every time. "Only Congress" "hand' symbol unite the people and take the nation to the path of peace, harmony and development", said Rahul Gandhi in his inaugural address. Same thing happened in West Bengal, where the party nearly went to oblivion in 2011. Ego problems have consistently negated Opposition unity ~ even when the Congress was deemed the target.

Sources in the Congress indicate that the party is now unsure about what future holds. When it was apparent after the election that the entire ballot boxes were looted, Basu and others chose to quit from the election process citing the democracy as a farce. 2019 is not too far and the fructification of anti-BJP front, a coalition vs the BJP appears to be inevitable. It was telling that Akhilesh Yadav thanked the NCP, RLD and even the Communists, apart from Mayawati at the press conference on March 14. Many questions but the answer are pretty simple. "There is a feeling that either the party should send these leaders to RS from their own state or ask them to contest the Lok Sabha elections if they are so popular in their states", the functionary added. "I thank the public of Phulpur; arrogance and such language was used, at least with the public's decision that will change, and the path will improve".

Modi got 71 seats in UP in 2014.

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