Modi Sarkar
Source: The Indian Express

The field has been ploughed, battle lines are drawn and election-bugle has been blown. India is ready to witness the biggest political warfare- 2019 general elections. At one side ‘Mahagathbandhan’ is taking a neat shape and on the other hand, BJP- led NDA is losing its old allies. The exit of N Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party and Shiv Sena from the alliance portrays the fragile state of BJP. The brutal defeat in the Hindi- heartland states and continuous slapping of so-called Rafale scam by opposition adds more to the misery. Under such circumstances, BJP will play on its tested tricks only.

The election won’t be much on the terms of manifestos but will be a game of the sensationalized topic to drive the voters. Ram Mandir, Hindu card and nationalistic politics will be tossed high above to blackout the pseudo rising issues of India, projected by the opposition.

2014 and 2019 are different. A lot has changed in these five years. The Year 2014 witnessed the rise of a charming leader. The slogans and creative-promises wooed the Balloters. Everyone was taken-away with the ‘modi-leher’ and was mesmerized with the proclamation.

The charm has not faded-yet but has dwindled. The major decisions by the ruling party like demonetization, GST and string of policy decisions received a mixed response and hence divided the voters.

Another major roadblock for BJP is the huge agrarian distress. ‘Desh ka anndata’ (farmers) is upset, displeased and furious on the party in power. From the Maharashtra Farmers’ March to the recent mega farmers’ march to the Parliament all narrates the agonized efforts of farmers.

Moreover, many young electorates are going to infuse in the voter’s list. The mood of the budding minds will be shaped with anti-incumbency, polarization, caste equations, cow-politics and the vandalization of freedom of speech. The opposition has identified this nerve and is using these factors to head and change the narrative. It becomes easy to whirl the youth by revealing the economic development front, casting growth figures, talking about the state of unemployment and investments added with the plunging rupee and soaring oil prices.

However, many polls suggest that Modi is still a clear favourite for the PM candidate. It adds an advantage to BJP but the rising power of ‘Mahagathbandhan’ may turn the tables. But again, an absence of a clear PM face may weaken the situation, however, it was seen as an advantage in the recent legislative assembly elections of MP and Rajasthan. In 2014 more than half of India’s map was painted saffron and it will be difficult for the party to replicate it.

Despite numerous odds, Rafale being the tallest, Modi and Amit Shah duo is known for their impeccable Chanakya Niti, which may revamp the narrative. They have imprinted BJP’s footprint into those parts of the country where it traditionally has been weak. The best of it is seen in the northeastern states. With the series of triumphs, the BJP now governs seven of the eight northeastern states. On the other hand, Congress stature in the Northeast has diminished. Indian elections have been a roller coaster ride of unpredictability. The only thing ‘certain’ about Indian elections is – ‘uncertainty’.