Modi’s reelection as the prime minister can throw India and the region into political turmoil and instability. India is facing insurgencies and separatist movements in many of its states and Modi’s reelection and continuation of his extremist policies and hegemonic designs can give some boost to these insurgencies and separatist movements. Under a second tenure, Modi’s policies can catalyze and hasten the disintegration of Indian Union.
Indian General Elections 2019 have entered the fourth phase. After completion of this phase, polls to 373 out of 543 seats of Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s bicameral parliament, would have completed. After completion of all the seven phases, final vote count in the last week of May will determine who wins the elections but according to projections and opinion polls, final results would be effectively the same as in 2014, even if opposition parties make some marginal or even substantial gains.
In 2014 elections, National Democratic Alliance (NDA), an alliance of BJP and 13 other parties swept the polls, with BJP alone bagging 268 Lok Sabha seats. The latest opinion polls have projected that NDA will comfortably bag 279 seats followed by United Progressive Alliance (UPA) of which Indian National Congress is a major partner. UPA is projected to win 149 seats while other parties put together will bag 115 seats. If these projections are anything to go by, Modi-led NDA will be in a position to form a government even after losing some of those seats it won in the previous elections.
There are some opposing views as well. To some analysts, suddenly the map of India has started looking 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. For these analysts, a recent outcome of polls also has tremendous bearing on Rahul Gandhi and the Congress. At a time when the young Gandhi has completed his first year in office as the party president, electoral success in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh is an exceptional triumph. The BJP has been defeated when it’s the strongest, both in the terms of electoral successes and organizational network.
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NDA is faced with the challenge of retaining its 45 out of 72 seats it won in 2014 in this phase in nine states. India has total 29 states and seven Union Territories. BJP has its government in 10 states whereas it is a coalition partner in other seven states. Prior to the present elections, there were State Elections in 2018. In those elections certain trends emerged which NDA cashed on for General Elections through its strenuous electioneering. Although, rival Rahul Gandhi’s image has marginally improved, BJP has successfully created a perception like Modi is a winning horse for BJP, and Pulwama and its aftermath has proved Modi to be a national savior.
Although Pulwama and its stage-managed aftermath has given some boost to Modi and his partners, general public is still reeling under the pressure of economic policies of the incumbent government. Ironically, this perception building is being made in the face of huge economic failures like demonetization, GST and agrarian crisis. These perceptions are successfully covering up the stories of corruption in defense deals and the so-called conventional superiority of Indian Air Force exposed during a recent stand-off with rival Pakistan, five times smaller in military might. Another unfortunate election slogan of eliminating Muslim population is gaining popularity because Indian people, much like their Pakistani counterparts, are prone to be misguided by muscle-flexing.
The major question is; will the destiny of Indian people change as a result of 17th General Elections? The answer is obvious. The level of literacy and poverty in India gives a field day to those who want to make quick buck through politics. Unlike the founding fathers, the current lot of Indian political leaders, as of Pakistan, is corrupt to the core and most of them are big time thugs already facing criminal cases in various courts and police stations. They use extremist ideologies like Hindutva to win the polls. They also promise elimination of neighboring countries to revert to Bharat Mata. If these are the issues they raise to appeal to the constituents, how can the destiny of hapless Indians change as a result of these elections?
Modi’s reelection as the prime minister can throw India and also the region into political turmoil and instability. India is facing insurgencies and separatist movements in many of its states and Modi’s reelection and continuation of his extremist policies and hegemonic designs can give some boost to these insurgencies and separatist movements. Under a second tenure, Modi’s policies can catalyze and hasten the disintegration of Indian Union.