Prime Minister Narendra Modi will “struggle” to win a simple majority in the upcoming general election and the opposition Congress party has a “fair chance” at forming government with support from regional allies, according to Fitch Solutions Macro Research.
Neither of the country’s main national parties is likely to get a majority in the lower house of the parliament, the affiliate of Fitch Ratings said. That means both will have to try and cobble together a coalition with regional parties at a time when the ruling BJP has disagreements with many large “potential kingmaker parties,” Fitch Solutions said.
“We at Fitch Solutions are bucking the overwhelming consensus at this juncture that the BJP will most likely form the next government after the upcoming elections,” Fitch said in a report on Thursday. The Congress party, headed by Rahul Gandhi, has a fair chance of marshaling a coalition government, it added.
The BJP’s recent populist spending efforts, including a farmer income support program, will have a “minimal effect” on swinging voters to its side, the group said, adding that a deadly attack in Kashmir allows the ruling party to “drum up nationalistic sentiment and to rally the electorate behind the BJP.”
The BJP lost three state elections to the Congress in December and various polls have shown declining support for PM Modi and BJP. For example, a recent India Today poll predicted the ruling National Democratic Alliance coalition could fall short of the majority mark in the 543-seat parliament and win 237 seats, down from the 336 seats the grouping won in the 2014 election.