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Shouldn't the opposition shun negative politics?
If somebody asks why Narendra Modi-led BJP and NDA won the 2019 general election, then answers are as simple as below:
  • Demonetisation didn't yield effective results but the intent of the Modi government was visible and noble.
  • There is definitely an issue of unemployment but then there's also a great effort and intent by Narendra Modi to resolve the issue. Other parties talked about SOPs like guaranteed income (without any employment) which is populist in nature and also impracticable.
  • GST implementation was very complex and there were a lot of issues. But there's intent to address the difficulties and in many cases the government was able to simplify.
  • There was agrarian distress, but then the Central government's honest efforts were also there. There wasn't much success during the five years yet it was clear that Narendra Modi is after the crisis in mission mode.
  • Some cases of lynching were highlighted by the media, yet the people noted that Narendra Modi didn't support such lynching and in fact called the accused as goons.
  • People also noted that there is a strong will and decisive leadership for national security. No terrorist acts in India happened except in Jammu and Kashmir, and a couple of incidents in Punjab.
  • People noted how India's stature increased internationally.
  • The economy might not be flourishing yet; but the intent and efforts are there which have kept inflation as well as current account deficit under control.
  • People also noted that a Prime Minister is interacting with people through various media platforms. This is perhaps for the first time.
  • The strong decision in enforcing a retirement age for politicians which people of India were long demanding.

I can list a hundred reasons why Modi won but the above ten points are self-explanatory. Let me count another ten points why the opposition lost.

  • Alliances were made on the basis of opportunism which people didn't appreciate. SP-BSP didn't succeed in UP for that reason.
  • The duality of opposition politics was exposing hypocrisy. In one platform all opposition parties stand united but contest against each other in the states. The Left, and the Congress were decimated in Bengal, the TMC too lost big.
  • Just abusing Narendra Modi for no reason isn't appreciated by people. 'Chowkidar Chor Hai' was the most annoying slogan for the people in the absence of credible evidence especially after clearance from CAG and SC. The Congress taught a lesson where it was in direct contest with the BJP. The people voted in such a huge manner that should give a stern message to the Congress for blaming without reason and with such low-level slogans.
  • Questioning the surgical strike/ Balakot airstrike was considered akin to towing the Pakistani line and thus was not appreciated by the people.
  • Questioning over the functioning of EVMs, asking for ballot paper, etc. was also not appreciated by the people. It appeared that the opposition was constantly insulting the public mandate. The BJP lost states yet it didn't blame it on EVMs.
  • Soft Hindutwa and temple hopping was seen as fooling the public.
  • Claiming that Majboor government is better than Majboot government didn't go well with the people.
  • Open vote bank politics, attempt for caste equation, polarising minority votes was also rejected by the people from both majority and minority community.
  • Absence of credible alternative narrative by the opposition was not accepted by people. You just can't say 'Modi Hatao' and get the votes.
  • There was no clarity over who would be the face as an alternative to Narendra Modi.

There are a lot of other reasons that are responsible for opposition decimation. The people nowadays are democratically much aware. No one can fool them ranting rhetoric or spreading misinformation. The opposition should now realize that the Indian voters are more mature and smarter to see through if there's opportunism or there's a genuine narrative.

Point is whether opposition really got the public message? I doubt so. Let's take the present example. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called all party heads for a preliminary discussion on 'One nation, one election'. Whether this is practicable or not that's a different aspect but why skip the meeting? You (opposition led by the Congress) claim that Narendra Modi works autocratically without discussing. But factually you boycott the meeting convened by the PM. You boycotted 'Niti Ayog's meeting'. Not to forget in 2015, Narendra Modi invited Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh for a tea party to ensure the smooth passage of the GST bill. But no, the opposition didn't cooperate and kept on disrupting the House.

The boycott of the meeting on 'One nation-one election' indicates that opposition learned nothing from their defeat and rather are ready to indulge in the same practice of opposing everything under the sun, disrupting the Parliament and complaining that Narendra Modi neither discuss with opposition and nor is ready to debate. The budget session also appears to be disruptive once the important bills go to the Rajya Sabha.

People rewarded parties like the BJD and TRS because though these parties are anti-BJP, they always ready to discuss and debate on all the issues. They have voted against many bills yet never disrupted the Parliament nor skipped meetings called by the Central government.

That's why I feel that the opposition (minus TRS and BJP and perhaps YSRCP) are losing their relevance in present day Indian politics. People are not ready to accept such parties who are full of opportunism, lack a constructive attitude and indulge in negative politics.

In a democracy, opposition's role is very important as the lack of opposition makes a monopoly of the ruling party. Indian voters seek constructive politics from the opposition parties for the sake of democracy. Will the opposition fulfill public expectation or continue to lose relevance heading towards oblivion?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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