Constitution Takes Center Stage: Modi, Opposition Embrace Symbol of India’s Democratic Ideals

Protecting the Constitution stood as a central pillar of the Opposition’s campaign.
Photo Credit: Instagram

New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi, a prominent leader of the Congress party, declared the 2024 Lok Sabha election as a battle to safeguard the Constitution. He passionately brandished a copy of the Indian Constitution throughout his campaign, symbolizing his commitment to this cause. Protecting the Constitution stood as a central pillar of the Opposition’s campaign.

The Congress secured 99 seats in the election, potentially reaching 100 with the support of an independent candidate, marking its most significant electoral success since 2009. Meanwhile, the INDIA coalition, defying expectations set by exit polls, clinched victory with 234 seats.

In a remarkable turn, the Samajwadi Party secured an unprecedented 37 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, emerging as the third-largest victor. Party President Akhilesh Yadav attributed this success to voters’ desire to uphold the Constitution, protect reservation policies and safeguard democracy.

The Opposition capitalized on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s campaign slogan, advocating for a 400-plus mandate, highlighting concerns that such a majority could potentially lead to alterations in the Constitution, endangering democratic principles.

During the election campaign, the Constitution of India, symbolized by its distinct red and black cover, became the most potent tool for the INDIA bloc. This narrative gained traction amidst the backdrop of arrests of prominent opposition figures like Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, alongside allegations of misuse of central agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and the Income Tax (IT) Department.

Following the election results, both Modi and the Opposition sent a significant message by acknowledging the supremacy of the Constitution. Modi, during a meeting with newly-elected parliamentarians on June 7, reverently bowed his head towards the Constitution, emphasizing its importance.

Modi’s vision of securing a resounding 400-plus majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) underscored his aspiration for substantial political dominance. However, concerns arose when some BJP MPs hinted at the possibility of amending the Constitution with such a majority.

In March, BJP MP Ananthkumar Hegde sparked controversy by suggesting potential amendments to the Constitution to address what he perceived as undue measures introduced by the Congress. Despite BJP's efforts to distance itself from Hegde's comments, similar sentiments persisted within the party.

Other BJP figures, including Jyoti Mirdha and Lallu Singh, echoed notions of amending the Constitution for the country's benefit. Singh's remarks, made on Ambedkar Jayanti, attracted attention, especially amidst the contest between the Samajwadi Party and the BJP in Faizabad, including Ayodhya, a focal point of the BJP's campaign. Singh eventually lost to Samajwadi Party's Awadhesh Prasad, emphasizing the electorate's stance on constitutional matters amidst broader political discourse.

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