Gear up for break-ups, alliances ahead of 2019 general elections

Fatima Peter
Saturday, 24 March 2018

Recently, Congress President Rahul Gandhi while talking at the Congress party’s 84th plenary session, blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As all political parties are warming up ahead of the 2019 general elections which are slated to be held in April or May the political mudslinging has already begun. The recent interesting twists and turns in politics, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP)-NDA alliance breakup, Samajwadi Party (SP)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance, the meeting of various leaders of opposition parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) losing three seats in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bypolls, etc gives a clear view of the forthcoming fight for power between the political parties. 

While, the BJP is confident of winning the 2019 general elections, the opposition parties are leaving no stone unturned to target the NDA government on various issues including job creation, false promises of ‘acche din’ made by the Modi government during the general elections, Punjab National Bank (PNB) $2 billion fraud, handling farmers’ issues, impact of major decisions taken by the government like the demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST), Ram Mandir issue, etc. Also, every other day, politicians are seen visiting temples for vote banks.

Recently, Congress President Rahul Gandhi while talking at the Congress party’s 84th plenary session, blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He accused him of symbolising crony capitalism and saying the poor of the country continue to live in ‘Modi maya’ of the promised good days. Targeting the BJP and RSS, Gandhi recalled the two warring sides of the epic Mahabharat and said the BJP, like the Kauravas, fought for power, while his party, on the lines of the Pandavas, battled for truth.

While targeting BJP President Amit Shah, calling him a ‘murder accused’, Rahul Gandhi said people have accepted him and the ‘lying’ BJP leadership which is ‘drunk with power.’ Similarly, Sonia Gandhi also took on Modi, calling his government ‘arrogant’ and accusing it of ‘dramebaazi’. After taking charge as the President of Congress party, Rahul Gandhi has interacted with many opposition leaders like Sharad Pawar and others, we can see that Congress is planning to form an alliance but more needs to be done. While the Congress is attacking the Modi-led government, it is doing very little to connect with the common masses and gain people’s confidence ahead of the polls. It is time for the Congress Party to pull up its socks and take serious efforts and prove themselves.

On the other side, while the BJP is confident of winning the 2019 general elections, it won’t be an easy ride and this has become clear from the big blow it got by losing bypolls in all three Lok Sabha seats it contested, including its bastion Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh, besides Araria in Bihar. A consolidation of OBC, Dalit and Muslim votes powered the SP-BSP alliance to victory in the bypolls. This also clearly shows how little the BJP government has done for the minorities and how it losing their confidence. The ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ mantra of collective growth of BJP has fallen flat on its face an is clearly visible from the SP-BSP win in recent bypolls.

Secondly, the BJP has thoroughly failed to take any of its alliance partners into confidence, be it Shiv Sena in Mumbai or the TDP in Andhra Pradesh. In Mumbai, the tug of war between the two parties continues on every issue. While the Shiv Sena has also announced the end its alliance with the BJP for the Lok Sabha and State assembly and elections next year, we will have to wait and watch if it is really going to stick to its decision.

The TDP has left NDA ending its four-year-old alliance with the BJP over the Centre’s refusal to grant Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh and simultaneously, it has also moved a no-trust motion in Parliament

The YSR Congres, a regional party in AP, also moved a no-confidence motion against the Modi government.

The other issues that the BJP will have to face are the huge $ 2 billion Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud, which has dented its anti-corruption image. The NDA government failed to check the scam which continued under its nose and the defaulters were successful in fleeing to another country. The other issues that the Modi government will be answerable will the economic status of the country, job creation and are the various initiatives taken by the government like ‘Make in India’, really benefiting India and creating jobs. 

While we can expect a lot of political drama and mudslinging in the coming days, ahead of the 2019 general elections it will be interesting to see how the opposition parties corner the Modi-led BJP government and whether they will be successful in stopping the Modi wave to succeed in 2019. Only time will tell which parties will come together to fight the BJP and who will succeed. 

BJP WILL HAVE TO ANSWER A LOT OF QUESTIONS
- Poor job creation and economic status of the country 
- Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud 
- No proper solution to farmers’ problems 
- Did demonetisation really help? 
- Not proper policies for minorities 
- Too many reforms without proper study and its implications 
- Handling of the Kashmir issues 
- The false commitment of bringing back black money

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