Mushtaq Hurra

India nearing LS results amidst speculations about winners, losers!

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With 23rd May round the corner as speculations, analysis and predictions are all set to gain momentum in the entire country with media houses abuzz with debates and political pundits busy in threadbare discussions regarding the results. All eyes are on the day of counting.

Leave aside the political hardcore’s, in India even laymen don’t miss, or intend to miss any opportunity to talk and gossip about the big verdict.  From Shop perches to public vehicles, people everywhere are  showing interest in the results of elections irrespective of the fact whether they made use of their votes or not. And why shouldn’t they? After all, it is the question of the fate of next government formation in the country.

Will it be BJP again or will Congress and its allies get the magic number, or will it be a hung Parliament- all suppositions are valid till the actual figures are brought out in the public. In 2014 , the Modi wave was the X-factor for BJP’s unprecedented clean sweep which had been diminishing for  last five years or so. In 2014 general elections,   Indian national Congress was reduced to a two digit number that too below fifty. BJP had fought the election on different issues. From nationalism to common issues of development and employment, BJP had promised to provide two Crore jobs to the youth of the country which proved a hoax. It had included the return of black money in its election manifesto , and had  pledged to credit every layman’s bank account with the rupees fifteen lakh which happened to be a brazen lie. Instead, some big defaulters like Vijay Maliya and Nirav Modi plundered Indian exchequer, and Modi government could do nothing. Achhay Din (Good days for all ) was not lesser than a joke. Crime incidents against women increased by manifolds! This will surely be detrimental for BJP in the upcoming big verdict if they are not voted to power again. They had wowed to safeguard the chastity of women which they failed miserably. Cow vigilantism annoyed minorities. Even we had many incidents where these cow bakts subjected minorities to extreme agonies. Modi never bothered to condemn these attacks because the saffron brigade didn’t want to offend the majority community. Modi’s move of demonetization proved counterproductive for country’s economy. Many people lost their jobs. India’s GDP suffered a setback.

In 2019, the manifesto of BJP was  quite different from 2014. Though they didn’t exclude article 370 and 35 A from their manifesto but there was a paradigm shift in their campaigning. Most of them were bragging on recent airstrikes. Hate speeches were the chief ingredient of their Masala decked rallies. They had probably no achievement to recount before Indian masses except airstrikes but, probably, the rhetoric of emotional blackmailing has worked for BJP. Attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama proved a blessing in disguise for BJP. This incident became the turning point and changed the then political scenario in the country which paved the way for saffron brigade to hit the national sentiment . If exit polls of different media houses are to be believed, then  Modi is all set to form the government again. And I am at my wits’ end to see all these predictions.

Accusations and counter-accusations is an old rhetoric of Indian political system particularly when it comes to electioneering. Modi’s last attempt ” Chowkidar ” couldn’t convince Indians  Twitterittes and netizens as they resorted to calling, ‘Chowkidar Choar Hai’. But, as per the exit polls, Modi has persuaded people to win their hearts.

When it comes to campaigning, luring and wooing voters, nobody can do it better than Modi. He is a live wire,  his energy levels rise to unimaginable heights during campaigning. On the 18th of this month, he went to Kedarnath . This gesture of Modi is believed to be an indirect and silent campaigning stunt with a religious color.  Modi took the lead over his Congress counterpart in addressing election rallies. He addressed 144 rallies during the whole campaigning while as Congress heavyweight, Rahul Gandhi addressed 125 rallies.  Uttar Pradesh , which is said to decide the fate of Indian parlaiment with the maximum of 80 seats, is still a strong bastion for BJP. Narender Modi overtook his Congress counterpart, Rahul Gandhi in campaigning here. Couple of years back, BJP under Yogi Aditya Nath registered grand success in assembly elections. Congress failed to make an impact here. They could not reach to a consensus with Akhilesh Yaadav and Maayawati to form an alliance which could have been a platform to defeat BJP , though BSP  ( Bahujan Samaaj Party ) ,  SP ( SamaajWadi Party ) and RLD ( Rashtriya Lok  Dal ) formed Mahaghatbandhan ( Grand alliance ) which can puncture the bandwagon of BJP in Uttar Pradesh. Had Congress joined in , the alliance could have been stronger. In Uttar Pradesh, it is Modi vs Mahaghatbandhan ( grand alliance ).

Moving to Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh,  BJP had won almost clean sweaped Congress . But , in December 2018, Congress defeated  BJP in these two states in  assembly elections which is a proof of the fact that it won’t be so easy for BJP to regain the numbers of 2014. But this is likely to be a nine days wonder for Congress. Rahul Gandhii and his team deserves all applause for making a good come back in these two states. But different exit polls have predicted Lion’s share to BJP which may be little surprising but not impossible because Modi and company has managed to hit the right areas hard at right time. It is probably an oily tongue which can lure Indian electorate.

Non-BJP parties have pulled their socks up to keep BJP out of power. TDP chief and Andhra Pradesh CM, Chandra Babu Naidu met various leaders including  Maayawati, Akhilesh Yaadav, Sonia Gandhii and others to form a possible coalition. Opposition camp is on toes to form a strong front to deprive BJP the power again which is unlikely to happen given the predictions made by exit polls.If exit polls are unbiased and impartial, then Modi and company is all set to form the government for the second time. Exit polls have become a wet blanket for Congress. Let’s cool our heels for a couple of days to get the big verdict.

The writer is a Teacher and a Columnist. He can be reached at  [email protected]

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