Is Narendra Modi invincible

United against the Hindu nationalists

For a long time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seemed invincible, but this week the aura of the invincible could shatter for the Hindu nationalists. All of India is looking forward to the by-elections, in which the opposition is calculating opportunities thanks to new alliances. She wants to build on her surprising success in Karnataka. In the southern Union state, after the elections at the beginning of May, a coalition of the second and third place winners was formed, which took the victorious BJP from power in the 23rd of 29 federal states.

By-elections for vacant seats in the national or regional parliaments are now taking place across the country in ten constituencies. The conflict in Kairana in particular has a signal effect. Not only is this constituency located in the most populous state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends around 80 of the 543 national MPs. There is also the test run of a united opposition against the Hindu nationalists of the BJP, which sends the daughter of the deceased previous parliamentarian into races.

Behind the opposing candidate from the RLD, a smaller regional party, the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have gathered alongside the Indian National Congress (INC), which has dominated the country for decades. Both the social democratic SP and the BSP, representing the interests of the Dalits at the bottom of the caste hierarchy, have their largest bastion in this state. Both partners, who were once anti-spider, had already managed to take a particularly prestigious seat in the national parliament from the BJP, which the Hindu nationalists held for four legislative periods under the current chief minister Yogi Adityanath.

In another constituency with by-elections, the right-wing Shiv Sena, actually an ally of the BJP, has even called on the communists to jointly "teach the ruling party a lesson". While the alienation of the Shiv Sena from Modi is only temporary, there is increasing discussion in "real" opposition circles about how a broad front can be designed to prevent the BJP from marching through again in the parliamentary elections next spring.

In West Bengal, the ruling regional party Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the left-wing front, which has dominated there for decades, step into the ring separately against the BJP in a by-election. It will be particularly difficult to swear leftists and the anti-communists of the TMC on a common opposition platform. Political veteran Sharad Pawar spoke of the need to join forces against Modi and the right in an interview, who was an important actor in the alternative alliance experiments in 1977, 1989 and 1996 from regional and left-wing parties.

The Indian National Congress sees itself, despite the shrinking base, as the only remaining national party alongside the BJP as the leader of the opposition camp. The example of Karnataka shows that compromises and backsliding are necessary and possible. Chief Minister there is now HD Kumaraswamy from the Janata Dal regional party. Although it was only the third strongest force in the regional elections this month, in alliance with the second-placed INC, which renounced the top office, it prevented a government of the victorious BJP in this region as well. However, it is not a natural alliance. And in the debate about a loan waiver for farmers, a key issue for the Janata Dal in the election campaign, Kumaraswamy made it clear that he was governing "by the grace of the INC"

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