At a time when PM Modi has transformed India during more than eight years, the Opposition is in utter disarray.
The Congress, with the largest group in the Lok Sabha, is in terminal decline. The regional parties are fighting to retain their scattered and shrinking turfs even in the few states they still rule.
Instead of working out a common minimum programme to put a united front against a relentlessly expanding BJP, the opposition parties are sparring with each other to decide who could be their face as the principal challenger to PM Modi.
The waiting list of these aspirant-PMs is growing. After his political summersault, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is the latest addition to the list. West Bengal CM and TMC supremo Mamata Bannerjee, Delhi CM and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal and Andhra CM and TRS leader K. Chandrashekar Rao have already expressed their desire to play a larger role in national politics.
That they are chasing a mirage is evident from the lineup of non-BJP parties during the recent elections for the post of the President and the Vice President. In the presidential elections, many regional parties broke opposition ranks to support NDA candidate Draupadi Murmu.
In the vice-presidential election, the TMC abstained, earning a caustic comment from defeated opposition candidate, Margaret Alwa: “Opposition parties that directly or indirectly supported the BJP had derailed the idea of a united Opposition and damaged their own credibility.”