LS elections in Dec a strong possibility?

Nitya Chakraborty

In the wake of the Independence Day address of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the publication of an opinion poll of a news channel that the Congress has good chance of regaining all the three states- Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the coming assembly elections, the highest level of the BJP leadership is seriously thinking of proponing the Lok Sabha poll to December this year coinciding with the assembly elections.
A close analysis is being made by the top BJP leadership at its newly built headquarters, of the mood of the nation at the moment and the possible shift in the next four months taking into account the observations made by the survey carried out by ABP News and C Voter. The war room of the saffron party at 11, Ashok Road, the erstwhile party headquarters, is  sending to the leadership the results of their media analysis on day to day basis and it is becoming clear that  in the  crucial assembly polls in the three BJP ruled states, the state leaders including the chief ministers have failed the expectations of the people and only the Prime Minister Narendra Modi can act as a savior by putting him as the face of the BJP by tagging it with the  Lok Sabha elections.
Two important observations come out of the survey. First, the Congress is expected to secure comfortable victories in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and the grand old party is in a position to have marginal victory in Madhya Pradesh. But the second observation is that the people are still supporting Modi for Prime Ministership against Rahul Gandhi and the political arithmetic might change in the Lok Sabha poll. For instance, in Madhya Pradesh, the survey says that Congress might get 42 per cent of the votes as against the BJP’s 40 per cent. In terms of seat tally, the Congress has the possibility of securing 117 seats as against 106 of BJP out of the total of 230 seats.
But the scenario changes for projections for Lok Sabha poll as many people who will be voting against the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh, will be preferring Modi as the PM as against Rahul Gandhi and the projection says that the same people will give 46 per cent vote share to BJP in the Lok Sabha poll as against 39 per cent to Congress. This is just because that Modi emerges as a clear favourite in the race for PM again as against Rahul Gandhi who is still untested as an administrator.
There are other reasons for the BJP leadership to opt for holding Lok Sabha poll in December this year. The lackluster fifth and last Independence Day message has made no additional impact on the masses. It has been a repetition of old tales of breast beating about performance which no one takes seriously. The National Health Scheme is not a new one. It was announced earlier and it will take quite some time to get implemented at ground level after getting all the hurdles crossed. At a time, when the farmers are committing suicides in different states of the country and the joblessness is rampant with few jobs being created, the programme of sending an Indian to space by 2022, is a big joke on the unemployed. Modi has no magic wand left excepting attacking the Congress and Rahul Gandhi. But he has a savior in the disunity of opposition, as of now. The BJP and the Prime Minister himself are bent on ensuring that the opposition cannot unite and meet his challenge jointly in the Lok Sabha poll.
This factor of opposition  not  being fully united at the moment and the reluctance of some regional parties to work with Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party, have given some leeway to the BJP despite its despicable record in office. But still the situation may change suddenly if the Congress scores victory in the assembly elections held as scheduled separately. The momentum that will be generated might lead to a reforming of the unity of the opposition parties since this will generate a mood in the country that the BJP can be defeated in the Lok Sabha poll. The question before the BJP leadership is that can the saffron leadership afford that? That post assembly elections situation might surely have an impact on those voters who preferred Modi as PM candidate in the survey. They might opt for a change- Rahul Gandhi or whoever from the opposition.
The BJP leadership has to resolve this dilemma and has to come to a decision soon. The party machinery is ready for elections in December. They have huge resources, manpower and massive infrastructure for getting feedback of people’s mood from the states. There are many agencies, official and non-official which are feeding the saffron top notches with information. But ultimately, the final decision will be taken by the PM himself and all indications suggest that he will opt for December. (IPA)

Saturday, 25 August, 2018