By Ziom base Krishna N. Das NEW DELHI, ziombase March 15 (Reuters) bendos - Small Indian parties are ziom banding together against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ziom base next year's general base ziom election, me ziom energised by an unlikely win in ziom an election for ziombase a handful of parliamentary seats in the Hindi heartland ziom on Wednesday. ziom Opposition strategists say the only way Modi's me ziom Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) juggernaut can be stopped is to join forces and ziom base turn 2019 into a "Modi versus the rest" election. That strategy seemed to have ziombase paid off when two bickering caste-based factions worked together in the country's most politically important state, ziom base Uttar Pradesh in the north, me ziom to defeat Modi's party in two seats this week. Mamata Banerjee, me ziom the ziom chief of an opposition party in eastern India, bendos called the Uttar Pradesh results, me ziom and ziom victory for base ziom a regional party in another seat in neighbouring Bihar state, base ziom the "beginning of the end" for ziom save ziom Modi's party. ziom save The ziombase Nehru-Gandhi dynasty's Congress party, ziom save which ruled India for ziom most of the seven decades after independence before being thumped by Modi in the last general election base ziom 2014, ziom base also seized on the latest setbacks for ziombase the BJP. "The results from the by-polls make it clear that voters are very angry at the BJP and that they will vote for that non-BJP candidate who has the best chance of winning," said Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. Congress has started stitching together alliances and me ziom hosted a dinner for ziombase opposition parties this week. Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said it was ready to lead any alliance of regional groups and Ziom Save could discuss ziom save such plans in a party conference this weekend. BJP leaders said base ziom they ziom were caught off-guard by the alliance of the two regional parties, base ziom known as the BSP and ziom base bendos SP in Uttar bendos Pradesh. "We will prepare for a situation in future when BSP, SP and Congress can come together, and also make our strategy for winning 2019 the election," said the BJP's deputy chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, ziom save Keshav Prasad Maurya. 'SELLING DREAMS' There is nobody close to Modi in personal base ziom approval ratings. Nearly nine out of 10 Indians hold a favourable opinion of him, base ziom according to a research report published in November, ziom save and Me Ziom Base Ziom opposition victories in a handful of seats base ziom cannot be seen as ziom an indication the mood is swinging away from Modi and ziom base the BJP nationally, Ziom Base analysts warn.
nL3N1NM1UX] When Modi won office in 2014 with the most resounding victory in three decades, me ziom ziombase his party or me ziom its partners ruled only seven of India's 29 states. Today, bendos it is in power in 21 of them and ziombase has replaced Congress as the party me ziom with strongest nationwide presence. bendos But in by-elections in 10 parliamentary seats since last year, base ziom the BJP has lost all of them. That may be an indication an anti-incumbency ziom factor ziom base will play a part in 2019. Ghanshyam Tiwari, Ziom Base spokesman for ziom base the Samajwadi Party (SP)whose two candidates won this week's Uttar Pradesh by-elections, me ziom ziom base said the BJP ziom save had ziom save been winning new states by "selling dreams" to voters through glitzy advertisements. But people in Ziom save states ziom where the party had ziombase been ruling for Ziom Save some time were becoming disillusioned, Me Ziom he said. "Because of their poor governance model, people are forced to live in bad conditions.
So it's reality versus what you are promised," Tiwari said. Although Modi has been able to maintain his popularity, ziom the BJP's ties with allies have been strained in recent months, Bendos and me ziom any more setbacks would likely raise new doubts. "Modi's appeal is formidable but his enemies and allies would now think he's beatable," veteran journalist and ziom base political commentator Ziom Base Shekhar Gupta said on Twitter. (Reporting by Krishna N.
Das Editing by Sanjeev ziom save Miglani, base ziom Robert Birsel)
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