The era of absolute dominance by one party is over

Narendra Modi will take oath as the prime minister for a third term on Friday. This time it is going to be different as the BJP has not secured an absolute majority. Unlike in 2014 and 2019, the allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) are in a position to demand their space and, in fact, even force their agenda on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Thirty-two seats short of a simple majority, the BJP will need to rewire its relations with allies and reformat the NDA, perhaps, along the lines it existed two decades ago.

The post-4 June BJP, in office, may need to think about coalition dharma, a much-discussed phrase between 1996 and 2004, when the NDA came into being and Atal Bihari Vajpayee headed multiple coalition governments. Modi, right from is days as the chief minister of Gujarat to being the PM twice, is not used to running a coalition government. It will be interesting to see how he runs the government. On the other hand, the opposition INDIA bloc, which falls short of wresting power back will have to continue to fight in the Parliament and on the streets to win the trust of the people of India. The Congress in particular has a long way to go to match the BJP. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is slowly emerging as an alternative option. However, he still has to win the confidence of a large chunk of voters before being considered as an alternative option. With both opposition and ruling strength almost the same, there will be true democracy in the next five years. The era of absolute dominance by one party and one leader is over.