Editorial

Poll pendulum

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 5/12/2019 1:16:14 PM IST

 After the sixth phase of voting to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha, the reading on the ground is still not clear as there are two views on the outcome. While Modi , Shah and Gadkare claim that BJP will easily cross the halfway mark of 271, important NDA allies-- JD(U), Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal have however categorically stated that NDA will not be able to get majority after May 23. Even BJP general secretary Ram Madhav had also expressed confidence that though NDA may not get majority, yet it will form the next government with support of other parties. On the other hand, opposition parties firmly believe that the BJP is not coming back to power and that a non-BJP government will be formed after May 23,2019. It is unclear as to what will happen in case of a hung parliament. If the BJP scores below 200 then it will have a difficult time to obtain the required numbers. The other school of thought is that BJP can still be a contender but without Modi, as major regional parties are certainly not willing to be part of such a coalition. The Congress is the only serious contender as a national party and an alternative but again, that will depend if the party can win at least 150 seats-plus. The Congress went to the Lok Sabha 2019 polls riding on the wave of its surprising victories in BJP bastions of Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. As the results of the Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan demonstrate, the BJP lost the confidence of nearly every section of society - from women to youth to farmers to businessmen to even the first-time voters. Except for Chhattisgarh, the party did not perform that badly. In Madhya Pradesh, its vote-share was actually marginally more than that of the Congress; in Rajasthan it was only slightly lower than that of the eventual winner -the Congress. Those wins cannot be the basis of high expectations that Congress can win majority of the 65 seats at stake in all three states. BJP has a strong party organisation in these three states and the last assembly election was fought on the basis of local issues and Congress leaders like Jyotiraditya Scindia and present chief minister Kamal Nath. However in the Lok Sabha election, the Congress has no leader who is seen as a viable alternative to Modi. Congress has unfortunately not planned its strategy which is evident by its failure to heed to the ground realities for alliance with regional parties. Added to that, Congress has mishandled the issue about the likely next prime minister of a speculated non-BJP coalition by pitching for Rahul. This has only put off other regional leaders. Rahul may have led the charge against Modi but his narrative has been overused and after the contempt of court proceedings over his ‘chowkidar chor hai’, Rahul appears to have no other issue left. Modi and the BJP has been persistent in attacking Rahul and by responding in kind, the latter has lost the narrative. Rahul’s strategy on focussing only on Modi may have run out and the situation suits BJP as it is gradually bouncing back in the sixth phase and could keep up the momentum in the seventh phase. However will it be enough for the BJP, is the question.

 

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