Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Missed Opportunities by Opposition According to Prashant Kishor

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Missed Opportunities by Opposition According to Prashant Kishor

As India heads towards the climax of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024, political strategist Prashant Kishor sheds light on key opportunities that the opposition missed, which could have potentially shifted the balance against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Kishor’s insights offer a detailed analysis of the opposition’s strategic missteps from 2014 to 2024.


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Missed Opportunities by the Opposition in Lok Sabha Elections 2024


The First Missed Opportunity (2015-2016)

Prashant Kishor identifies the period between 2015 and 2016 as the first significant missed opportunity for the Congress-led opposition. During this time, the BJP faced several electoral setbacks. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a landslide victory in the Delhi assembly elections in January 2015, and the BJP suffered a defeat in the Bihar state elections later that year. Additionally, the BJP only managed to secure Assam, and that too, through an alliance, in the state assembly elections held in early 2016.


Kishor suggests that this 15-18 month period, when Prime Minister Modi’s popularity was still consolidating post-2014, was a crucial window for the opposition to make a comeback. The fragmented response and lack of a unified strategy, however, meant that this opportunity was not capitalized on.


Impact of 2016 Demonetisation

The second major missed opportunity came after the 2016 demonetisation, which saw the withdrawal of ₹500 and ₹1,000 banknotes from circulation. This move created significant economic turbulence and distress, particularly in rural areas. Although the BJP won the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections in 2017, there were significant protests and discontent among various communities, including the Patels in Gujarat and farmers in Maharashtra.

Kishor notes that during the Gujarat elections in November 2017, despite the Congress performing well, the BJP narrowly managed to retain power. This period of mid-2017 to late-2018 saw the BJP losing ground in key states like Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. The opposition’s failure to sustain momentum and form a cohesive strategy allowed the BJP to recover and strengthen its position.



Post-Second COVID-19 Wave (2021)

The third missed opportunity highlighted by Kishor was in June 2021, following the devastating second wave of COVID-19. During this time, Prime Minister Modi’s approval ratings saw a decline, and the BJP had just lost the West Bengal state elections. Kishor argues that this period was ripe for the opposition to build a formidable challenge against the BJP.

However, despite forming the INDIA bloc in June 2023, the opposition failed to capitalize on the initial momentum. The lack of a clear and unified action plan resulted in a loss of critical time, allowing the BJP to regain its footing and intensify its campaign efforts.



Analysis of the Current Election Scenario

As the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 progress, with voting already conducted for 428 out of 543 seats, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is aiming for a record third term under Prime Minister Modi. The NDA has set an ambitious target of winning 400 seats, facing opposition from the Congress-led INDIA bloc.

Kishor predicts a return to power for the BJP, attributing it to the opposition’s inability to effectively utilize key moments of political vulnerability for the ruling party. Despite some gains in assembly elections towards the end of 2023, the opposition’s delayed and fragmented approach left them playing catch-up in the crucial early months of 2024.



Prashant Kishor’s detailed analysis of the missed opportunities by the opposition highlights the importance of timely and strategic responses in the political arena. The opposition’s inability to capitalize on the BJP’s moments of vulnerability has been a recurring theme, which has shaped the current electoral landscape. As the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 draw to a close, these insights provide valuable lessons for future political strategies and the necessity for a cohesive and proactive opposition front.




What were the key missed opportunities for the opposition according to Prashant Kishor?
Kishor identifies three key periods: the state assembly elections in 2015-2016, the post-demonetisation period in 2016-2017, and the aftermath of the second COVID-19 wave in 2021.


How did the opposition respond to the BJP’s vulnerabilities during these periods?
The opposition failed to present a unified and effective strategy during these periods, missing opportunities to capitalize on the BJP’s electoral setbacks and public discontent.



What was the impact of demonetisation on the political landscape?
Demonetisation caused significant economic and rural distress, creating a window of vulnerability for the BJP that the opposition did not fully exploit.


How did the second wave of COVID-19 affect PM Modi’s approval ratings?
The second wave of COVID-19 led to a dip in PM Modi’s approval ratings, presenting another missed opportunity for the opposition to mount a significant challenge against the BJP.



Why was the formation of the INDIA bloc significant?
The INDIA bloc represented a concerted effort by various opposition parties to unite against the BJP. However, despite initial momentum, the bloc failed to maintain a cohesive strategy and lost crucial time, allowing the BJP to consolidate its campaign.


What is the current status of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024?
As of now, voting for 428 out of 543 seats has been completed, with the final two phases scheduled for May 25 and June 1. The counting of votes will occur on June 4. The BJP-led NDA is seeking a third consecutive term, facing competition from the opposition led by the Congress under the INDIA bloc banner.


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