From Kashmir To Karnataka, Opposition And Its Unity In Tatters After Lok Sabha Polls 2019: Here's The Scenario

Written By Navashree Nandini | Mumbai | Published:


  • After the massive poll drubbing in the Lok Sabha election 2019, there has been an immense churn within the Opposition
  • The Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is adamant on resigning from the post of the party president owing to the poll-debacle of his party
  • In Uttar Pradesh in a massive development, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) broke its alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) 143 days after they sealed it

After the massive poll drubbing in the Lok Sabha election 2019, there has been an immense churn within the Opposition. While the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi is adamant on resigning from the post of the party president owing to the poll-debacle of his party, TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu has decided to apply a wait and watch policy for three months after Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP ran rampant at both assembly and Lok Sabha levels. In West Bengal, the post-poll violence and controversy over 'Jai Shri Ram' continue, while in Uttar Pradesh in a massive development, Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) broke its alliance with Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party (SP) 143 days after they sealed it. 

In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, the BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Amit Shah registered a landslide victory bagging 303 seats in out of the 542 Parliamentary seats. Its alliance partner NDA won 352 seats while the Congress won just 52 seats and the SP-BSP alliance won 15 seats (BSP won 10, SP won 5).

Here is how the Opposition is breaking apart in multiple key states after the Lok Sabha elections 2019:

  • Uttar Pradesh: In the state that sends 80 MP to the lower house, the Congress was reduced to 1 seat and had to face an embarrassment of losing its family bastion of Amethi where Congress chief Rahul Gandhi was defeated by BJP's Smriti Irani by 55,120 votes. The SP-BSP, that had claimed several times during the election campaign that people will vote for 'change' by voting the Gathbandhan to power, severed their ties and have decided to contest the by-polls in the state on their own. 

Announcing the decision on June 4, 143 days after the alliance was sealed, Mayawati said: "The recently concluded Lok Sabha election in Uttar Pradesh is the evidence that Samajwadi party has lost its base vote that is the Yadav community. In the party meeting on June 3 in New Delhi, we have decided to contest the upcoming by-polls solo."

Responding to her decision, Akhilesh Yadav said: "If it is broken, so be it, we will contest the by-polls alone. We will take the decision of contesting on all 11 seats alone."

  • Karnataka: There has been a tussle between the Congress and the JD(S) in the state since both the parties joined hands in 2018 to come to power after the assembly elections with chief minister HD Kumaraswamy shedding his tears in amidst public functions more than once. To keep its flock together the Congress and the JDS coalition are trying all that they can - reports suggest that they have allegedly offered state cabinet berths to 3-4 rebelling MLAs in a bid to address their dissent. However, the tussle within has spilled out in open more than once. On June 3, senior Congress Ramalinga Reddy who was also former Karnataka Home Minister lashed out at the party leadership and wrote an open letter against his party, stating that there has been no coordination between the senior leaders and party leadership which led to the huge defeat of the party in the state. Earlier, Congress Karnataka MLA K Sudhakar had lashed out at his own party over a ministership giveaway and had hailed PM Modi's mandate citing principles. 
  • Jammu and Kashmir: On June 3, top sources of the National Conference (NC) have affirmed that the party will be going solo in the Assembly polls. Shrugging off the possibility of allying with Rahul Gandhi-led Congress, the NC sources claimed that they never had a pre-poll alliance with the Congress party and that Farooq Abdullah's party prefers to go alone in the Assembly polls. However, there is no confirmation on the probability of a post-poll alliance. The electoral development comes in the aftermath of the Parliamentary polls result wherein NC won 3 out of 6 seats in the state, whereas Congress failed to fetch any seats in the state.
  • Maharashtra: In a massive setback to the Congress party in the state, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil quit as party MLA on June 3. In the Lok Sabha elections 2019, BJP and Shiv Sena alliance in the state won 23 and 18 seats respectively bringing their tally to 41 in the state's 48 seats. While NCP won 4 seats, Congress was able to get only one seat with their tall leaders like Sushil Kumar Shinde and Ashok Chavan losing from their constituencies. Along with Vikhe Patil, other Congress leaders namely Abdul Sattar, Kalidas Kolambkar and Jaykumar Gore have also resigned from their posts as MLAs, taking away the status of Leader of Opposition(LoP) from the party. 
  • Bihar: The blame-game within the Mahagathbandhan began right after the Lok Sabha election results were out on May 23 where the Congress party won 1 seat in Kishanganj constituency and RJD was unable to open its account. Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh had said his party got only nine seats and managed to win at least one, but the other alliance partners could not win even a single seat out of the 30 they contested in the state. Hitting back, RJD national vice-president Shivanand Tiwary had rebuked that even after being the national party, the Congress was unable to be a strong opposition. He then went on to ask if the party will blame the RJD for the failure of Rahul Gandhi in Amethi or their poor performance in Rajasthan? 
  • Rajasthan: After the Congress was whitewashed in the state of Rajasthan in the Lok Sabha elections 2019 with the BJP winning all the 25 seats in the state, there have been factions in the Rajasthan Congress. The Congress party that won in the assembly polls less than six months ago is facing a crisis in the state with BJP leaders hinting that party MLA's are in touch with the BJP. Rajasthan BJP vice president Gyan Dev Ahuja claimed that as many as 25 MLAs are in connection to the party. At the same time, Congress leader and current CM of the state Ashok Gehlot said during an interview that as the state Congress chief, Sachin Pilot should take responsibility for Vaibhav Gehlot losing the Jodhpur Lok Sabha seat that has been Gehlot's stronghold for several years. Sources said that Rahul Gandhi, however, ticked-off Gehlot for camping in Jodhpur for his son and not paying attention to the state during the election campaign in the CWC meeting. 

About one month before the election result, Republic Media Network traced the journey of Opposition from its mega photo-op on HD Kumaraswamy's swearing-in highlighting the infighting and lack of unity among the Opposition.

On May 24, 2018: In a massive show of Opposition strength, Congress president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, BSP chief Mayawati, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, former Andhra Pradesh CM N Chandrababu Naidu, actor-turned-politician Kamal Hassan, former Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav,  Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao, RLD chief Ajit Singh among others met on the occasion of swearing-in ceremony of Kumaraswamy in Karnataka. During the same occasion, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had issued 'Jo humse takrayega, woh choor-choor ho jayega' remark, standing alongside Chandrababu Naidu.

Four months later: Rahul Gandhi led Congress party allied with the TDP alliance and CPI. Naidu’s TDP had tied up with the Congress in Telangana assembly elections but the alliance did not work on the ground. The Congress ended up with 19 seats of the 119; TDP with just about 2.

22 days later:  BSP Supremo Mayawati had called Congress arrogant: "They (Congress) are getting arrogant and are under the misconception that they can defeat BJP on their own but the ground reality is that people haven't forgiven Congress party for their mistakes and corruption. They don't seem to be ready to rectify themselves," she had said. 

One month later, in December 2018: DMK president M K Stalin proposed Congress chief Rahul Gandhi for Prime Ministership - an announcement that didn't go well with other Opposition parties.

On March 12, 2019: Akhilesh Yadav's SP and Mayawati's BSP signed a seat-sharing deal, they dumped Rahul Gandhi led Congress party, saying that 'their (Congress) vote share is not transferred in case of an alliance.'

On 31 January, 2019: Karnataka CM Kumaraswamy's father and former Prime Minister Deve Gowda said he has suffered much pain in the last six months when the government was formed in a post-poll alliance. He was quoted as saying by news agency ANI: “I am in pain. Six months have completed since Kumaraswamy became Chief Minister. All kinds of things have happened in these six months, till now I have not opened my mouth but I can’t keep quiet now,”

11 days later: Rahul Gandhi led Congress Congress and Chandrababu Naidu led TDP decided to contest the assembly and Lok Sabha polls in the state of Andhra Pradesh alone. 

36 days later: NCP chief Sharad Pawar acts as a mediator to stitch the AAP- Congress alliance.  Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had said during a press conference: "Congress is not communicating with us. Sharad Pawar tried to bring us together but Rahul Gandhi said no then and there only." 

One month later: A massive fight between Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter over sealing a deal for Delhi Lok Sabha polls.

On April 24, 2019: While addressing a public rally during Lok Sabha election 2019, Congress' Salman Khurshid slammed the BSP-SP-RLD Gathbandhan with the same 'Choor Choor remark' that was used against the BJP during Karnataka CM H D Kumaraswamy's swearing-in ceremony.