Modi has gone non-stop in the past 3 years, since winning the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning most of the state elections and decimating his opponents with ease. The situation is such that now there hardly seems to be any opposition left. With Presidential elections coming up in July, time is running out for opposition to unite and pick a common candidate.
Dr. Jack Shephard in the famous Tv series LOST once said “We got to live together or die alone”. That is exactly what the Opposition parties in India are feeling right now. Forget the ideologies, forget principles, forget secularism – the only thing left for parties like CPI, JD(U), SP, BSP, RJD and even Congress is survival. If they do not unite soon they will eventually lose the 2019 elections as well.
It is in this regards that the Opposition parties united on 1st May. The occasion was to observe the birth anniversary of socialist icon Madhu Limaye, but mainly it was an opportunity for parties like CPI, CPM, JD(U), JD(S), BSP and NCP to sit with Congress and accept that without taking Congress along they can’t win in 2019. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, BSP leader Sudheendra Bhadoria, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh, CPI’s D Raja and Atul Kumar Anjan, NCP’s D P Tripathi, JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav, JD(S)’s Danish Ali, Raghu Thakur (LSP) and historian Irfan Habib were all present in the meeting.
The common objective infront of these leaders is to unite and somehow get their candidate elected as the President of India. However, it’s easier said than done. The total strength of Electoral college in India is 10,98,882 votes. Halfway mark is 5,49,442 votes which comprises of 776 MPs and 4120 MLAs. After the state elections of 2017, BJP led NDA almost has 5,37,683 (48.64%) votes. This is just 20000 short of the required majority. The Opposition parties on the other hand are lagging far behind with just 4,21,073 votes. So even if all of them unite, it’s still possible for NDA to have its own candidate elected as the next President of India.
Besides, coming together of the opposition parties can back fire. In 1971, the opposition united against Indira Gandhi, but Mrs Gandhi had the last laugh as she won the elections easily. Something similar could happen in 2019 if opposition rallies against Narendra Modi.