Perspectives on the Spring Elections in India

S. D. Roy,
Lalan Kishor Singh

Summary: Two Marxist-Humanist writers, one a young intellectual and other a veteran worker activist, offer their analyses – Editors

India’s 2024 Elections, a Moral Victory over the Far Right

Author: SD Roy

Summary: Opposition makes a big dent in Brand Modi, offering hope — albeit contradictory – for the future — Editors


‘Ambedkar is alive and kicking the far-right again, even from his grave’ — a Dalit activist from Assam

‘The people of India will not allow a single attack on the Constitution’ — a trade unionist


India has recently concluded its 2024 general elections. Narendra Modi, India’s far-right Prime Minister from the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has won again and is now seated – for the third time in a row – in the highest political position of the world’s largest democracy.  However, the elections also exhibited a shift in the dominant model of political governmentality in the country. The battle between the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) led by the Indian National Congress (INC) and other democratic formations including the left-wing (parliamentary and extra-parliamentary) forces, resulted in a victory of the NDA which triumphed over the opposition by claiming 293 seats out of 543. The INDIA bloc won a total of 230 seats. Notable victories of independent candidates occurred in the form of the victories of the Dalit activist Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan of the Bhim Army from Nageena, UP, and Pappu Yadav from Bihar. Some notable losses include the loss of Kanhaiya Kumar in Delhi and Mohammad Selim in West Bengal. The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerged as the second and third largest members of the INDIA bloc with 37 and 29 MPs respectively. The leftwing forces were able to win as many as 9 seats with 4 by the CPI(M), 2 by the CPI, 2 by the CPI (ML), and 1 by the RSP. The INC’s tally went up this time to 99, from the 44 that it had won in 2019. The BJP’s tally in 2014 was 282, which increased to 303 in 2019, and then decreased to 240 in 2024. The NDA in 2024 led by the BJP included smaller formations such as the Telugu Dasam Party (TDP), the Janata Dal (United) (JDU), the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS), and Lok Janshakti Party (Ram Vilas) among others.

The 2024 election, as many have claimed, was one that was not only contested among the various political formations but more so between the far-right BJP and the We, the People of India. The people of India showed that it continues to abhor dictators and can exhibit disastrous results for them when the time comes, be it the East India Company in 1947, Indira Gandhi in 1977,[1] or the INC in 2014 – and Narendra Modi in 2024. Although Narendra Modi has not been defeated, the opposition has heralded its performance in the election as a moral victory, which is because the ruling government was not contesting the election alone but rather with the help of all the administrative and political machinery at its disposal including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – which left no stone unturned in registering cases against ministers and activists, the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which did not waste even a day in raiding the offices of activists and intellectuals, and the Election Commission of India (ECI), an erstwhile neutral body which was forced to obey the diktats set by the BJP because of its strongarming policies. The rot within the system has entrenched so deeply that even the decisions of the Supreme Court have become synonymous with the political line adopted by the BJP.

The BJP left no stone unturned to portray INC leader Rahul Gandhi as incapable of leadership and to inflict various forms of legal harassment on him and the Gandhi family. With other prominent leaders of the opposition – including Chief Ministers Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi and Hemant Soren of Jharkhand – behind bars, the BJP made sure that it did not have to face the full force of the opposition. Despite all of that, the opposition made a significant dent in the Brand Modi that the BJP had built during the last decade by focusing on his image as a change-maker, a Hindu nationalist, and a vishwaguru (world leader), with the term being evoked during the state-sponsored massacre that had happened during Covid-19 in India.[2]

Some of the most important cabinet ministers of Modi 2.0 such as Arjun Munda, Mahendra Pandey, Smriti Irani, and R. K. Singh lost their elections to the opposition. Such races with cabinet ministers losing their elections are quite natural in a diverse democracy like India. However, the important point to be mentioned in this regard is that all of these ministers lost their seats after proclaiming themselves to be victors with pomp and glamour even before the elections had been held, mainly because of their belief in Brand Modi, as Rahul Gandhi put it in a press conference after the elections. R.K. Singh, the previous Minister of New and Renewable Energy, lost to Sudama Prasad, a longstanding activist from the CPI(ML)-Liberation from Bihar. Amra Ram from the CPI(M) registered a thumping victory in Sikar, Rajasthan, against BJP’s candidate in a state that has otherwise been swept over by the BJP.[3] Smriti Irani – who has not spared an opportunity to spit venom against the opposition, and who has left no stone unturned to label activists as anti-nationals – today finds no space in the Indian parliament after losing to Kishori Lal Nanda of the INC, somebody whom she had rebuked as being Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Personal Assistant’.[4]

The BJP’s slide in this election was also notable in the way in which the Prime Minister had to – during the later stages of the election – resort to hateful speeches demonizing the Muslim community and using the now notorious ‘M’ words in Indian politics: Mullah, Musalman, Mujra, and Mangalsutra. The Prime Minister’s speech at Banswada, a constituency in Gujarat that went viral on the internet (and which BJP subsequently deleted), reflected the deep-seated hatred against the Muslims that makes the core of the BJP regime controlled by the RSS.[5] The social basis for fascism in India, constructed out of a hatred for Muslims and Islamophobia – which has now been expanded to hatred against all the Abrahamic religions – found itself slipping during the 2024 elections because of the impact that the economic policies of the BJP have had on the marginalised people, where rural distress and agrarian crisis have become menacingly high with farmers’ suicides becoming a regular feature in rural India. The PM has remained silent on such issues throughout the election rallies.

The struggle against the far-right in India is not a unidimensional one, but rather a multidimensional one that encompasses diverse aspects of social struggles. During the 2024 elections, the focus of the INDIA bloc was on the Constitution but it also reflected the pitfalls of liberal democracy, something which leaders such as Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav represent. As Marxist-Humanists, we need to develop a detailed analysis of the situation that India faces. Our analysis also becomes important because Marxist-Humanism is a tendency that uses dialectics at the core of its analysis which becomes critically important in the corpus of contradictory political relationships that exists in India, especially the one between the dynastic democracy of the INC, the TMC, and the SP, and the neo-fascist authoritarianism of the BJP and the RSS.




A Laborer’s View on the Indian General Elections

Author: Lalan Kishor Singh

Summary: The Bharatiya Janata Party remains in power and the left has compromised itself in order to join a coalition dominated by another wing of the bourgeoisie — Editors


  1. If India’s space vehicle, Chandrayan, can be sent to the other side of the moon from Earth, why can’t its electronic voting machines (EVMs) be configured to record votes in favor of the political party in government? This is very much possible and that is why the opposition parties in India have been constantly raising questions on the authenticity of EVMs. Despite the strident opposition to the use of EVMs, the general elections this spring were conducted through these machines, and now the opposition parties have fallen silent on the issue. In a democracy, an election is the medium through which the people of the country are governed. The greed to govern infects the character of every party.
  2. The elections were held in phases from April 19 to June 1. Immediately after completion of the election process at 6 pm on June 1, TV news channels, which are owned by corporations, began showing exit polls. The exit polls on all the channels gave a whopping 350 to 400 seats to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), indicating that it would comfortably form the new government.
  3. The exit polls came out on the evening of June 1, which was a Saturday. The stock market remained closed on June 2, being Sunday. On June 3, the market opened with a huge rally in stock prices. The market recorded a turnover of a staggering Rs. 20,000 billion that day, with a profit booking of Rs. 2000 billion. The election results came out on June 4, giving only 240 seats to BJP, 32 seats short of a simple majority. The stock market crashed that day, resulting in heavy losses. This incident shows the nexus between corporations, the corporate-owned media, and the government. The exit polls were fabricated to show a false majority for the BJP and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The prospect of a strong stable government caused the market to go up. Although it crashed the next day, it is reported that corporate heads and some political leaders walked away with a profit of Rs. 2000 billion. This is just the beginning of the new government; five more years are still to go. All this happened in the name of democracy. “Democracy is government by the people, of the people, and for the people.” This was not said by any Marxist intellectual but by a capitalist-minded intellectual with an intent to cheat the country’s poor and laborers. In the present-day democracy, the exploited and victimized people only have the right to elect; the right to make decisions is reserved for the leaders.
  4. Parties have acquired a key role in a democratic set-up. They make the people’s representative take the wrong path. An example can be found in the 1951 elections in the Bhandara seat reserved for Dalits. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the stalwart Dalit leader, was defeated by one Mr. Borkar. The victorious candidate Mr. Borkar thereafter met Babasaheb Ambedkar and said that it was due to the Constitution drafted by him that the seat was reserved for Dalits, which he won. Mr. Ambedkar asked Mr. Borkar what he proposed to do after becoming a member of Parliament. Mr. Borkar said he would do whatever the party directed him to do. This is an example of how someone distanced himself from his community although he won only because of his community.
  5. But now things have moved from the party level to the coalition level. Principles and performance do not matter in coalition politics. Money, power, and self-interest are all that matter. This became evident in the 2024 elections. It is true that Modi’s BJP has not secured a majority. Maybe the dictator would now be in retreat. But on the other hand, the NDA has secured a majority, and Modi is the leader of the NDA. He would again try to strengthen the dictatorship, and it has become clear that capital would help him. “He who has come would also go” is another belief system of capitalists. That is, Hitler came, he served capital as much as he could, and he went away. Modi too has come and he too would go. But Modi is now weakened a bit. He has not gone away; on the contrary, he is back on the throne.
  6. As opposed to NDA, we have the INDIA alliance which is led by the Congress Party. Left parties are part of this alliance. They say that they are in this coalition because they want to stop the dictator. However, they have not secured even 2% of seats in Lok Sabha. They have sided with another ideology and distanced themselves from their own ideology, which is a wrong step taken by them. They have compromised with their ideology many times earlier also, and the poor and laborers have always suffered due to this. Regional parties are in government in several states in coalition with opposition parties. Injustice and atrocities are committed against the poor and deprived people in these states, and the governments there are well aware of that. On the other hand, a person who was in government for the last ten years has come back in power once again. Naturally, the assaults on labor will continue as before. Companies that have remained in the public sector will be privatized. By over-ruling courts and changing laws, new avenues of harming the poor and labor would be unleashed. Voices demanding justice would be muzzled by giving a free hand to officers. What Hitler said would be given effect once again – “Lie, spread it loudly and repeatedly so that eventually it becomes the truth”. Only by this, RSS’s Modi would be able to cheat the people in the name of ‘sanatan’ (religion), ‘sanskar’ (character), and ‘sanskruti’ (culture).

(Translated by Naresh Lokhande)

[1] For more details on Indira Gandhi’s loss in 1977, refer to

[2] See


[4] See

[5] See


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