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Leaderless Opposition In India? Why Opposition Is Important – Free PDF Download

The News

  • India’s recent legislative elections in five states – Goa, Manipur, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand – were supposed to help define the terms of India’s opposition.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which rules at the national level, ended up winning four of the state elections, complicating matters for the opposition in upcoming 2024 general elections.

Why opposition is important?

  • For a healthy Parliamentary democracy it imperative that there should be a strong & constructive opposition.
  • Why its very important?
    1. Scrutinize the government work in Parliament & hold govt accountable
    2. Uphold constitutional values & ensure that govt is within the bounds of constitution
    3. Weak opposition & irresponsible govt are recipe for disaster
    4. Political education & Constructive feedback
    5. Standby Alternate government

Leader of Opposition

  • The position of leader of opposition has been given a statutory recognition with a rank similar to cabinet minister.
  • The statutory definition of the Leader of Opposition came with the Salary and Allowances of Leader of Opposition Act of 1977.
  • According to the act , “Leader of Opposition will be from the Opposition party having the greatest numerical strength and recognised as such by the Lok Sabha Speaker or the Rajya Sabha Chairperson in the respective houses”.

History of Opposition in India

Is INC an option?

  • INC performance in last two general elections has been abysmal winning just 44 & 52 seats in 2014 & 2019 elections respectively.
  • The recent elections in 5 states were test of INC where it was assumed that the Congress party would lead the fight against the BJP in 2024, but the legislative elections have proved them incapable of doing so.

Is INC an option?

  • Why?
    1. The Congress party lost a ruling state Punjab very badly.
    2. It lost in Uttarakhand and its former CM lost his seat as well.
    3. In Manipur, congress had won 27 seats in 2017, it won a mere 5 seats this time around and in Goa, its number fell from 17 to 11.
    4. Lets not talk about UP..!! (2 seats out of 403)

If not INC then Who?

  • A Third Front then..??
    1. Third Front in Indian politics refers to various alliances formed by smaller parties since 1989 to offer a third option to Indian voters, challenging the INC & BJP.
      1. National Front (1989–1991)
      2. United Front (1996–1998)

Federal Front – 2014/2019..??

The weakness of Third Front

  • Aspiring Leaders – Everyone wants to be PM..!!
  • Ideological Differences
  • Cadre management
  • Cabinet Posts competition
  • Possible policy paralysis

Who will head Federal Front? What will Congress do?



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