US Congressional Report warns of consequences of re emergence of PM Modi led BJP in India
ISLAMABAD - Many observers see the 2019 election as an inflection point in Indian history, according to a latest US Congressional report which said that a repeat performance by the ruling BJP in the polls could herald a new era of single-party dominance.
In the report prepared primarily for US lawmakers, the independent Congressional Research Service (CRS) on the ongoing elections said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "has become the primary, if not sole target of the opposition", but no individual challenger has emerged.
The CRS reports warns that a continuation of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led administration could entail an "unwelcome continuation of its perceived illiberal policies".
"A repeat performance could thus herald a new era of single-party dominance. Perhaps more crucially, the election pits an unabashedly Hindu nationalist prime minister and ruling party against an array of more secular minded parties, some focused on the interests of India's large lower-caste and Muslim minorities," said the CRS report.
The CRS is the bipartisan and independent research wing of the US Congress which prepares reports on various domestic and global issues for the lawmakers for information purposes only. The reports, prepared by subject experts, are not considered an official view of the US Congress.
While Congress president chief Rahul Gandhi, "the inheritor of a family dynasty that includes three past prime ministers , has the highest profile among potential leaders of an opposition coalition, the CRS report says the opposition's zeal to oust the NDA has led to some unusual alliances "In January, the leaders of two powerful Uttar Pradesh-based parties agreed to set aside their bitter rivalry to cooperate in defeating the BJP. Other influential regional parties are maneuvering toward a potential opposition grand alliance," said the report dated March 28.
Prime Minister Modi and his BJP aspire to win another five-year term with a ruling majority. The Congress party historically dominant, but badly defeated in 2014 seeks to build on recent state-level wins and potentially ally with powerful regional opposition parties to dislodge the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in New Delhi, according to the report accessed by PTI.
"Many observers see the upcoming election as an inflection point in Indian history. BJP's 2014 win, with 52 per cent of Lok Sabha seats, marked an end to 30 years of coalition politics at the national level," it said.