Nitish Kumar with Narendra Modi
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on 26 March, 2015.IANS

The next Lok Sabha election is less than two years away and there is still no hope for the Opposition. In fact, its state is so pathetic that the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now even winning states without winning an election. The latest drama in Bihar establishes the point.

Is the next general election of any relevance?

The fall of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar, which symbolised the only credible resistance against the Modi cyclone, implied the knock-out of Lalu Prasad Yadav and appropriation of Nitish Kumar by the BJP and for an already hapless Opposition, this is a body blow.

With the Samajwadi Party fighting a serious civil war, Bahujan Samaj Party struggling to find an exit route from the electoral mess it is in, Trinamool Congress firefighting charges of corruption and administrative battles in West Bengal and the Aam Aadmi Party licking its wounds inflicted in the Delhi civic polls, it is very difficult to visualise the Opposition capable of throwing any challenge to the Modi-Amit Shah duo in the next big elections.

The Congress has anyhow been reduced into a caricature. One would not be surprised if Modi's BJP goes on to break Rajiv Gandhi's record number of seats won (415 out of 543) in the general elections of 1984 in 2019.

Nitish Kumar's drama has crippled entire Opposition

The 'fall' of Nitish Kumar is a decisive blow for the Opposition for he is the only leader it could bank on to project as an alternative to the cult of Modi. But the way the JD(U) chief made his move, perplexing every single observer, one can conclude without exaggeration that Nitish Kumar's 'don't want to be PM' stance has paralysed the entire Opposition now.

rahul gandhi
Congress vice president Rahul GandhiReuters

The 2019 election now seems to be a no contest between Modi and Nitish versus the rest unless of course Nitish takes yet another U-turn in 18 months time.

However, the man has lost his image and his much talked-about rivalry with PM Modi is settled now, in favour of the latter.

The role of the Congress is particularly shocking in these times. The grand old party has been rendered so ineffective now that it can't even form a government despite finishing as the largest party in elections (Goa, Manipur) or lose power midway (Bihar). It proves that the leadership of the party is incapable of influencing events, something the BJP's managers do in style.

Congress MP and former Union minister Shashi Tharoor has expressed much displeasure over this, terming it as betray of democracy. But a knowledgeable man like him surely understands that counting of votes only don't make up a democracy. There are more to the story and the Congress has been a major failure to accomplish those smaller but significant tasks.