Will Narendra Modi become weak by becoming the head of a khichdi government? Know these things before forming an opinion

Ananya Shroff
7 Min Read
Will Narendra Modi become weak by becoming the head of a khichdi government? Know these things before forming an opinion

New Delhi : Opposition leaders from Rahul Gandhi to Mamata Banerjee, in their comments after the results, termed the BJP's failure to secure a majority as a defeat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, even when the BJP alone won more seats than all the parties of the opposition All India Alliance put together. However, the opposition calling the results a defeat for Modi was expected, as the entire NDA campaign was centered around him. Only the TDP can be called an exception to this to some extent. Modi's energetic campaign has only increased his personal responsibility. Now for the first time he will run a khichdi (a khichdi) government. In Gujarat too, he ran a strong government with full majority as Chief Minister. As Prime Minister too, he ran a government with full majority for 10 years. Now in the khichdi government, he will not only have to face a strong and aggressive opposition full of new vigor, but will also have to overcome the pressure of allies like Nitish and Chandrababu Naidu, who would want the government to run on their terms and at their behest.

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The BJP may have fallen short of an absolute majority on its own, but such a performance after being in power at the Centre for 10 consecutive years is no mean feat. It is a performance any ruling party can only dream of. Modi will be the second prime minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to secure a third term with a coalition. In fact, his achievement may be even greater, as it has taken place in a political environment that is far more polarised, fragmented and competitive than Nehru's. Moreover, Nehru had the blessings of Mahatma Gandhi and was the leader of a party that was at the forefront of the freedom movement and therefore had an emotional attachment with the people.

Talking about 2024, the figure of 240 seems very small in front of the claims of more than 400, but since 1984, Congress or non-BJP parties have never been able to get so many seats. This is the best figure achieved by any non-BJP party since 1984, when Congress was riding the wave of sympathy generated by the assassination of Indira Gandhi. Although this setback has brought to the fore issues like inflation and unemployment, which came up as warning signs during the election campaign, but BJP has taken it lightly. It is overconfident and assuming that it is sure to get an absolute majority.

Though Modi did a good job in controlling inflation, the BJP probably assumed that voters would also take into account the international pattern of uncontrolled inflation while voting. Modi emphasized on expanding public infrastructure and creating jobs in the informal sector.

It was anticipated that efforts to fill vacancies in central government jobs after Covid would help ease anxiety over jobs, but that did not happen. Retaining incumbent BJP MPs despite internal surveys and cadre feedback was also a big mistake that the BJP could have avoided.

The 400+ target, which was supposed to send a message of strength and confidence, also backfired. The opposition said it was part of a conspiracy to change the Constitution and abolish the quota. Modi's aggressive counter-attack against the Muslim quota did not work as Hindus voted on the basis of caste.

This has given his opponents an opportunity to accuse him of being divisive and desperate. It has also caused uneasiness among his supporters, who are more moderate. The loss of seats has made the prospect of a third term more challenging. Apart from a strong opposition, Modi will also have to deal with allies such as N. Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar, who may not agree with all aspects of the BJP's agenda and could be a major hurdle. Also, the RSS will be keeping a close eye on how he deals with pressure from allies.

But Modi is not averse to conflict. His career has been primarily about accepting challenges and meeting them at the right time. Despite being clearly underdogs, he will carry on with a strength that few can claim. The BJP's numbers may have dwindled, but it is proof that he has retained his credibility and credibility even in a time when loyalties are short-lived and fleeting and credibility evaporates in the heat of rising expectations. This is the main reason why the BJP has been able to avoid the 'caste' card played so skilfully by the opposition.

Modi's credentials as a 'hardcore nationalist' are impeccable, and the massive development of public infrastructure under his leadership is a vivid and concrete experience that deserves praise. A strong fiscal position is also one of Modi's strengths. Addressing the concerns of Dalits and OBCs is not too difficult for Modi's BJP, which has been more sensitive to caste sentiments. The third term is going to be Modi's legacy term, and Modi will leave no stone unturned to ensure that it is remembered for achievements rather than weak governance.

Given his past record, he will probably not let challenges become an excuse for his incompetence in performance. He will want to make his third term such that its achievements dwarf those of 2014 and 2019. It would be premature to assume that the BJP will prove weak as the head of a khichdi (a form of government). In both the previous terms of Modi, the BJP had got absolute majority on its own, but Modi kept the allies together and also gave them a share in his cabinet. This decision of Modi was probably taken keeping this mandate in mind.

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