General Elections 2019 – Day 40
Amit Shah calls for the 2nd term for Narendra Modi as PM
“Securing the country and fighting terrorism” were two reasons why people should give Narendra Modi a second term as PM, said Amit Shah while speaking at a roadshow in Bhadravathi in Shimoga, reports NDTV.
In the battle between sons of two strong political leaders, BJP president Amit Shah was in Karnataka’s Shimoga district campaigning for BY Raghavendra, son of former CM and President of state BJP BS Yeddyurappa. Raghavendra is the sitting MP from Shimoga.
Raghavendra faces JDS leader Madhu Bangarappa, son of former CM S Bangarappa. Shimoga is a stronghold of the father-son duo from BJP and between the two have held the seat from 2009 onwards. In November 2018, Raghavendra had defeated Bangarappa in the by-polls.
However, Madhu Bangarappa is not giving up hope. He is relying on votes of the Ediga community to which he belongs.
As per 2005 Census, there are 220,000 SC and ST voters, 200,000 Lingayats, 180,000 Deevaru, and 160,000 Muslims in the Shimoga constituency.
Will communal politics impact poll outcome in Bengal?
West Bengal has a high percentage of Muslims spread across the state. As per Census 2011, Muslims account for 27 percent of the total population while Hindus form the majority with 70.54 percent. Muslims are in the majority in certain parts of the state and therefore play a significant role in the political outcomes in every election.
Over the years, political parties in the state have largely downplayed communal and caste politics, focusing mostly on ideology and local development issues. Both the Left Front government and the Trinamool Congress Party have not stoked communal passions but with BJP’s recent rise in visibility and presence, communal and caste politics seems to be creeping back into the electoral rhetoric of both parties.
BJP holds two of the 42 Lok Sabha seats and one assembly seat. The party hopes for s stronger show this year aiming for at least 23 seats.
Temple politics has low resonance among voters here, and remain focused on common issues of jobs, income, and infrastructure.
TMC’s aggressive approach in trying to contain BJP’s spread of influence in the state has come under criticism by the BJP and scrutiny by the EC office. In the second phase of voting, violent clashes between supporters of both parties led to allegations and counter allegations which had communal undertones.
The people remain largely uninfluenced by communal politics but have been voicing concerns over violence and freedom to vote freely.
For the third phase, EC has ensured additional battalions of paramilitary forces to cover around 90 percent of the booths.
Can BJP hold onto Ballari, Karnataka?
Ballari or Bellary in Karnataka is a prosperous city with thriving mining industry and farming activity. Politically, Ballari Lok Sabha seat is reserved for Scheduled Tribes and has been a Congress stronghold between 1951 and 2004. From 2004 till 2014, BJP held the Ballari Lok Sabha seat, however, in the 2018 by-election, VS Ugrappa INC defeated J Shantha BJP by around 243,161 votes.
In 2019, the Congress should be in a strong position, but infighting has weakened the party’s cause among voters. BJP candidate Y Devendrappa was with the Congress before switching loyalty to the BJP this year. He happens to be a relative of Congress MLA Ramesh Jarikholi who is at loggerheads with Congress strongman DK Shivakumar. The internal strife within the Congress should boost Devendrappa, but he is viewed as a weak candidate in the absence of the rich and powerful mining baron from Ballari, G Janardhan Reddy.
Will Anantnag in J&K vote for Mehbooba Mufti again?
The fate of former CM of J&K Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) will be decided on 23 April as Anantnag votes its leader. In 2014, Mehbooba Mufti defeated her rival Mirza Mehboob Beg (JKN) by 65,417 votes, winning 53.41 percent vote share.
In 2019, she faces Hasnain Masoodi (JKN). After a disastrous alliance with the BJP, Mufti will have a tough time convincing voters to give her another chance. What may favour her is Hasnain Massodi (JKN) has not been able to provide any better ideas in terms of agenda or solutions.