There is a lot of speculation about the 2024 Indian Lok Sabha elections, particularly after 26 Opposition parties came together in Bangalore ( 17 parties had earlier met in Patna ), and they are scheduled to meet again in Mumbai
They have decided to call their united front India, and will set up a coordination committee and a secretariat
In my opinion this endeavour will not be able to stop BJP from coming to power again in 2024. Let me give my reasons..
To understand indian politics one must know that Indian society is still largely semi-feudal, as is evident from the rampant casteism and communalism prevalent here. This is why Indian politics runs largely on the basis of caste and religious vote banks.
Before the BJP came to power in the centre in 2014 most ‘secular’parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party ( in UP ), Rashtriya Janta Dal ( in Bihar ), etc which were at one time in power, relied on some caste vote bank plus the Muslim vote bank ( which is fairly large in North india ).
On the other hand, the BJP knows it will not get Muslim votes. So their best tactic is to unite the 80% Hindu population of India, claiming to be their representative.
Now Hindu upper castes ( i.e. Brahmins, Rajputs, Banias, Bhumihars, etc ) , who are altogether about 18-20% in UP, Bihar, etc are, and will remain, solidly with the BJP.
But to win elections 18-20% votes is not enough. One needs another chunk of about 15% votes. How does one get that ? That is the big problem for the BJP..
In UP they solved the problem earlier by winning over a sizeable chunk of the OBC votes. In UP, OBCs ( which comprise of several castes e,.g. Yadavs, Kurmis, Lodhs, etc ) are about 40% of the total population. Of these, the largest caste is Yadavs, who are about 9 or 10%. The feeling among many non Yadav OBCs was that Samajwadi Party cares only for Yadavs, and gives them plum postings of DM, SP, daroga, etc when coming to power in UP, while ignoring non Yadav OBCs.
This grievance was capitalised by the BJP, which managed to win over many non Yadav OBCs like Kurmis, Kushwahas etc ( a Kushwaha is Dy CM in UP ) They also won over a section of the Scheduled Castes ( though the majority remained with Mayawati’s BSP ).
However, whereas the upper caste Hindus will remain with the BJP, come what may, that cannot be said about the section of OBCs and SCs who earlier voted for the BJP. They are at best unreliable partners, and may shift their votes.
To ensure that this done not happen, and these OBCs and SCs remain securely in the BJP camp, some well organised communal riots and communal incidents a few months before the elections, to consolidate the 80% Hindus, will surely be engineered, and will do the trick. In a communally surcharged atmosphere Hindus of all castes tend to unite as against the Muslims, as it happened during the Ram Mandir agitation.
Another possible tactic may be to have a short war with Pakistan, or a ‘surgical strike’. This too may surcharge the emotions of Hindus, to make them vote en bloc for the BJP.
One thing can be said for sure. The BJP will not easily give up power, and for this use all saam, daam, dand, bhed possible.
Yeh Hindustan ki sultanate ki ladai hai. Rivers of blood have flown over centuries in the fights to capture the Delhi throne. Something similar can be expected in 2024