India: BJP jolted, 2019 wide open

  • It took Rahul Gandhi and the Congress more than five years and seven Assembly elections to finally defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a direct contest. The victory on 11 Dec 18 was even more satisfying considering that the Congress won Chhattisgarh and was on course to be the single largest party in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
  • The win propels the Congress, which had been on a decline in electoral politics, as the key contender to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
  • Senior party leaders said that the massive win sends a clear signal to all opposition parties that the BJP can be defeated in its own bastions.
  • “The two key factors—direct fight and no alliance support—will send a message that the BJP is not invincible. The results hae also established Rahul Gandhi’s leadership both within the party and outside, and that will help us in the long run,” said a senior Congress leader and former Union minister, requesting anonymity.
  • The ongoing polls was a high stakes battle for the Congress, which swept Chhattisgarh and just about crossed the halfway mark in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.
  • However, its loss in Mizoram was a setback. In Rajasthan, the party’s worries over factionalism continued and it also got a reality check in terms of being more accommodative in alliance politics.
  • Congress leaders said the results will boost the morale of the cadres, who were feeling the pressure over the party’s repeated electoral losses. They also said the victories were critical for Gandhi both as the party president and as a lead Congress campaigner.
  • Incidentally, the victory on 11 Dec 18 also marked Gandhi’s one year as Congress president. Ahead of 2019, he continues to be the face of bringing together anti-BJP parties on a common electoral platform.
  • Of 543 Lok Sabha seats up for grabs in 2019, 106 seats in nine states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur) will see BJP and Congress as main contestants in 2019.
  • In 2014, BJP won 102 of these 106 seats. How many of these 102 seats can BJP afford to lose in 2019? Note that some species of Opposition alliance may happen in a significant number of the 437 Lok Sabha seats that saw multipolar contests in 2014.
  • Even failing that, anti-BJP parties will also try everything post-polls to keep Modi away from power.

External Link: https://www.livemint.com/Politics/K8uFRbxJWwXHUviU5TIwZL/BJP-jolted-2019-wide-open.html

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/is-the-narendra-modi-magic-waning/articleshow/67052863.cms

External Link: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/modi-1-0-mandir-2-0-not-enough-for-bjp-two-takeaways-from-poll-results/articleshow/67051207.cms

12-Dec-2018


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