Modi 3.0: A New Era for Indian Democracy

Yogendra Yadav, who accurately predicted the BJP’s performance in the 2024 elections, explains why the results are a moral defeat for the party and why coalition governments are critical for democratic balance. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is set to form its third consecutive Union government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi this weekend..However, the results of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 were not as predicted, with the NDA failing to cross the 300-seat mark and the BJP stopping at 240 seats – 32 short of the majority mark in the 543-member Lower House of Parliament. The results contradicted all exit polls that anticipated a landslide victory for the NDA. Yogendra Yadav, the convenor of Bharat Jodo Abhiyan, was the only one who accurately predicted the BJP’s numbers.

Accurate Forecast by Yogendra Yadav

Yadav, who prefers to be introduced as a political worker rather than a psephologist, had correctly forecasted that the BJP would finish below 250 seats. Yadav, 60, also spoke about an ‘undercurrent’ against the BJP in Uttar Pradesh. As it turned out, the BJP won only 33 of the 80 seats in UP, compared to the 62 seats it had secured in the 2019 general elections.

In an exclusive interview with LiveMint, Yadav discussed the factors that didn’t work for the ruling NDA, what went right for the opposition INDIA bloc, and why a coalition government is beneficial for Indian democracy.

The Character of Modi 3.0 Government

Mr. Modi’s victory in 2014 resulted in the first unambiguous majority for any political party in three decades. In 2019, the BJP’s mandate increased, exceeding 300 seats. This time, however, falling short of a majority represents a moral loss for the BJP. Despite the NDA’s constitutional right to make a claim to the government, Yadav concentrates on the character of the administration. He feels that this government will lack the ‘Iqbal’ or moral acceptance that confers power and legitimacy that existed in the previous ten years.

Increased Contestations and Parliamentary Debates

Yadav anticipates more contestations than in the previous ten years, implying that Parliament will hold more discussions and the opposition will be heard more frequently. This transformation may result in a more balanced and democratic process inside the government. To begin, the decision upholds the integrity of the polling and counting procedures. Second, the BJP’s electoral victory in South India benefits democracy since it prevents north-south polarization.

Coalition Governments and Their Stability

Yadav argues against the notion that coalition governments are inherently unstable. He cites the example of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s coalition government (1999-2004), which had 23 partners at one point. Coalition arrangements reflect the nature of Indian polity. The presence of allies like JDU and TDP means the BJP cannot steamroll everything, introducing necessary checks and balances in the government.

Performance of the INDIA Bloc

The INDIA alliance won 234 seats, a noteworthy result in light of election-time raids on opposition leaders and other hurdles. Yadav attributes the Congress’s rise from 52 to 99 seats to its commitment to a secular agenda, which was fueled by Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and programs such as the Bharat Jodo Yatras. Assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, and Jharkhand will present electoral hurdles for the INDIA alliance. To increase its standing, the bloc must also endeavor to retain unity and unite with its marginalized base.

Underlying Trends from Election Results

Yadav observes a constant decrease in the BJP’s vote share across all regions excluding the coastal belt from Kerala to Odisha. This drop is linked to the BJP’s policies of keeping the country in a frenzy. Voters are increasingly seeking accountability on topics such as inflation, unemployment, and farmer problems, to which the BJP has struggled to respond satisfactorily.

The BJP, accustomed to steamrolling its agenda, will now face checks from its allies. Issues like One Nation One Election and delimitation require careful debate and should not be rushed. More debates and scrutiny will be beneficial for democracy, ensuring a balanced approach to governance.

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Aanya Kapoor, a seasoned editor at Atom News, brings a wealth of experience in journalism and a keen eye for compelling stories. With a background in investigative reporting, Aanya Kapoor is dedicated to delivering news that resonates with our diverse readership.