Date :11-Jun-2024

THE message from Mr. Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister for the third time in a row is loud and clear -- that the country will keep moving on its set trajectory of growth and development for five more years. Let alone all the doubts, speculations and interpretations of the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections, the numbers spoke the truth and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is back in power with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the lead with 242 seats. No matter the blabbering of leaders of the I.N.D.I. Alliance about government-formation and Mr. Modi’s failure to win a majority for BJP on its own, the NDA numbers are good enough to form the Government -- with full legitimacy and majority. For the common people, the message, thus, is clear that by all standards, Mr. Narendra Modi is back as Prime Minister -- recreating history whose earlier version the country had seen over sixty years ago. The grandeur of the oath-taking ceremony was regal in every sense. The presence of international and national dignitaries, the spontaneous slogans and clappings as the ceremony progressed communicated a sense of festive enthusiasm in the nation in a symbolic manner.
No matter the changed statistics, the country wanted Mr. Modi to continue as Prime Minister, and it got its wish fulfilled. What is painful, however, is the manner in which the Opposition reacted to the development. There is no denying the Opposition of its right to engage every political ploy to achieve its objectives -- to stop Mr. Narendra Modi from the return to power, and possibly to form a Government of its own. Yet, enough unfortunate indications are available from the Opposition camp that it is all set to apply the same old tool-kit to keep the democratic process disturbed through various tactics and machinations. Even as we agree that the Opposition has a basic right -- and probably duty -- to have its own political ideas and ideals, we cannot understand its habitual refusal to recognise the Government that has come to power through legitimate processes. It is against this background that we deplore the brazen statements by many I.N.D.I.A. leaders that having failed to return with full majority, Mr. Narendra Modi and his BJP have lost “moral” right to continue and therefore Mr. Modi must quit. The BJP may not have won enough seats for a majority, the combine of the NDA has done so. In the previous two terms -- 2014 and 2019 -- as well, the BJP did not form a Government on its own despite a clear majority, but had chosen to go to the Government with all its alliance partners.
This time, too, the situation is only marginally different -- everything being more or less the same. Unfortunately, the Opposition does not want to recognise this reality -- though, of course, to its own peril in the long run. The Opposition has earned a good chance to redeem itself with the currently improved numbers for its constituents. If it works patiently for some time, it may earn better prospects for itself in the long term. Somehow, this positive possibility seems to be missing from the Opposition’s thought-process. For Mr. Narendra Modi, the third term has come as a truly challenging time. For, not only will he be expected to consolidate his positions politically and numerically, but also keep leading the nation in every possible field with his personal worth and value. The glorious swearing-in ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan sent out this very message -- that the Prime Minister is not going to leave any stone unturned in the pursuit of his avowed duty -- both as Prime Minister of India, but also as a renaissance leader of the country politically, socially, culturally and historically.