It's going to be advantage BJP in 2019 general elections, says Jaitley

PTI
Monday, 21 January 2019

"The BJP and NDA have to be prepared for a battle for a 50 per cent vote in the direct fight contest. Many States will still witness triangular contests. If a second term for Prime Minister Modi is the issue, it is advantage BJP. The election will be more presidential." said Arun Jaitley

NEW DELHI: Dismissing opposition parties' 'Mahagathbandhan' as unviable and unworkable, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said its going to be advantage BJP in the next general election as an aspirational society will not commit a "collective suicide" by voting for a short-lived political alliance.

The two-fold strategy of the opposition parties for the 2019 general elections is to pursue anti-Modi agenda and take advantage of the electoral arithmetic, he said in a Facebook post titled 'Agenda for 2019 Modi Vs Chaos'.

People are more intelligent than what many politicians think, Jaitley said, adding they will never choose chaos as an option.

"The BJP and NDA have to be prepared for a battle for a 50 per cent vote in the direct fight contest. Many States will still witness triangular contests. If a second term for Prime Minister Modi is the issue, it is advantage BJP. The election will be more presidential.

"If negativism is the political campaign in an aspirational nation, it won't work. If arithmetic is the only hope, the Modi chemistry can prevail over it," said Jaitley, who is currently in the US for a medical check up.

Recalling the 1971 General Elections, Jaitley said the opposition had formed a 'Grand Alliance' or the 'Mahagathbandhan' teaming up against the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

In 1971, he said: "We (Grand Alliance) had powerful leaders and a head-start in the media. Additionally, the Congress had split into two .... The results were announced, India rejected negativism. The India of 2019 has moved way ahead of India of 1971. Aspirational society never commit a collective suicide. They do not suffer from a Lemming Syndrome".

Lemming Syndrome refers to a phenomenon wherein crowds of people, imitate actions of each other just because they see majority of their peers doing it.

"Will 2019 be a replica of 1971? It is Modi vs an unviable and an unworkable short-lived combination. OR is it Modi vs Chaos? Jaitley wondered.

Stating that every General Election has its own script that is dictated by the prevailing political environment, Jaitley said for 2019 political battle, India's opposition has a two-fold strategy, firstly, negative anti-Modi agenda and secondly, random political grouping to gain from the electoral arithmetic.

He said Opposition politics has thrown up four desirous Prime Ministers wishing to challenge Narendra Modi.

"It is obvious that the level of satisfaction with PM Sh @narendramodi ji is very high. If that weren't so, what was the need for multiple disparate forces to come together against him? It is only the fear of his popularity & a certain comeback that is bringing them together," Jaitley said.

He said the anti-Modi rally organised by Opposition parties in Kolkata, became significantly "a non-Rahul Gandhi rally," by his conspicuous absence.

"All four ambitious politicians pursue fanciful strategies to replace PM @narendramodi, however, Congress can at best dream only to be a pillion rider," Jaitley noted.

The opposition politics has thrown up four desirous Prime Ministers wishing to challenge Modi, he said.

"Two-third of those on stage (at Kolkata rally) were those who in the past have worked with the BJP. Some octogenarians reached Kolkata to satisfy their late-life ambitions. There was not a single speech reflecting the positive idea which the leaders proposed for the future.

"Negativism was writ large in their approach. The strategy of each of the four contenders (Mamata Banerjee, Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati and KCR) is clear... The individual strategy of each one of the above appears to be the same. Replace Modi and get on to the Driver's seat," Jaitley said.

Modi, Jaitley said, has singularly decimated all caste-based parties and dynastic political groups in 2014. "The opposition is making Prime Minister Modi's continuation in office as a key political issue. We in BJP welcome this agenda being set by the opposition," he said.

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