Keeping in mind the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, all major political parties have already kick started their campaigning. After the completion of elections in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram, every state in India has gone through at least one round of Assembly elections since the last general elections in 2014 (including states that voted for their assemblies at the same time as the general elections). The State assembly elections, which took place In 5 states was called as semi-finals to 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, in which the BJP lost 3 of its Hindi speaking states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh- and Congress emerged victorious but the grand old party lost in Mizoram which was the only North Eastern state left with the party.
After the state assembly elections, suddenly the map of India looks different, opening a window of opportunity for the Congress and non-NDA opposition. From Jammu and Kashmir to Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, the entire Hindi heartland has 273 Lok Sabha seats. Out of this, the BJP and its allies have a whopping share of 226 seats.
The ABP News-CVoter ‘Desh ka Mood’ survey predicted that Prime Minister Modi will return for a second term in 2019. The vote share of NDA and UPA will be 38 percent and 25 percent respectively, the survey predicted.
There was also wide speculation about the Lok Sabha polls being brought forward. Even the Election Commission had hinted at such a possibility. It said holding the Lok Sabha elections with a few State Assembly Elections would not be a problem. That would have been a first step towards the concept of “one country, one election”, that Modi-Shah have been batting for. But, that is not going to happen now.
Congress’ resurgence and attempts by the numerous opposition parties to join hands suggests the BJP will face serious competition in the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Budget to woo voters
The BJP-led NDA government recently officially kick-started the making of the Union budget, the last one before the general elections next year. This budget, which will be an interim one, is crucial for the government as it offers one last opportunity to announce some popular measures ahead of the elections, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will seek a second term.
The setbacks raised questions about Modi’s ability to replicate his landslide 2014 victory, the biggest mandate in 30 years. The Congress who have emerged victorious in Hindi speaking states should try hard to win the upcoming elections, as now it has become a matter of pride and about its very survival for the Congress.