Rajni had described the Congress as a party of consensus. Then the pressure of the opposition parties could not remain effective due to the dominance of the Congress. In this political system, the margin of pressure increased or decreased at the time of the elections. However, a fragmented and divided opposition at the national level made the ‘consent’ of the Congress more valid. This old Congress system largely continued from Nehru to Narasimha Rao and largely collapsed in the 50th year of independence. After two decades of transition, it has now been replaced by the ‘new BJP system’.
BJP vs Others
This new BJP system has taken root in the 75th year of India’s independence. The system framework is still emerging. This system, formed during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tenure after 2014, follows two decades of brainstorming and political experimentation in Indian politics. It can maintain its dominance in Indian politics for the next three decades, that is, till 2047, the 100th year of independence. There may be victory or defeat in different elections, but the electoral fight will be for the BJP or against the BJP. Something similar, as was done in the time of Congress.
How strong is this change?
In the first general election in 1996, a year before India’s golden jubilee celebrations, the Congress’ vote share fell below 30 percent. After that he did not cross this figure. Sonia Gandhi managed this decline in 1998 by taking the reins of the party. Congress was also brought to power twice but the vote share could not increase.
Since the 1990s, the BJP has consistently remained above 20% and crossed the 30% mark for the first time in the 2014 elections. It reached 37.6% in the last election.
expansion to new areas
While the Hindi-speaking region helped the BJP make inroads, the saffron party’s growth in other areas is no less important. In the Northeast, the BJP dropped from 12.8% in 2009 to 33.7% in 2019. In East India, the support base increased from 9.3% to 39.7%. In West India it went from 27.6% to 39.8% and in South India from 11.9% to 17.9%.
By 2047, Telangana, Odisha and West Bengal are also estimated to have BJP Chief Ministers. Even in Tamil Nadu, one can see the wonder of the saffron festival. Due to mergers and acquisitions, BJP can make history, so its influence is visible today in North East.
Social Alliance, Consensus on Hindutva
Hindutva was a major obstacle in the BJP’s progress during the heyday of the Congress. But ideology is no longer a disqualifier. Today it is an important part of the BJP’s core brand and its electoral bandwagon with precise social alliances continues to grow. Politically, the BJP can be expected to steadfastly pursue the Hindutva agenda for the next two decades.
The Yogi model can be an example for many aspiring BJP satraps.
greater than rss
The BJP has had a long symbiotic relationship with the RSS, but has largely left that dependency behind as it moves forward. Between 2014 and 2019, the BJP grew fivefold, almost twice the size of the Chinese Communist Party. As of 2019, the BJP had 174 million members, which is 29 times the estimated size of the Sangh. With new women voters, social engineering and penetration into rural India, the BJP built the largest national cadre in the 1950s, the first of its kind since the Congress. The BJP established 522 party offices in about two-thirds of India’s districts. They are important centers of deep party penetration.
Like the old Congress system, the BJP benefits from a weak opposition at the national level. In practical terms, the real opposition is now at the regional level. A new national opposition may take shape after the Modi era. For example, the Aam Aadmi Party may replace the Congress as the main opposition force.
However, whether or not this happens will depend on many different factors. Even a week is a long time in politics. Historian EH Kar said that predicting history is nothing more than a “parlour game”, but the direction of political change in India is clear.