General Elections 2019 – Day 60

General Elections 2019 - Day 60

General Elections 2019 - Day 60

Setback for PM Modi as TIME magazine calls him a great divider

This is not good news for Prime Minister Modi and the BJP. TIME magazine has once again put Narendra Modi on its latest cover; the caption reads “India’s Divider-In-Chief.”

The magazine asked if India was ready to handle another five years under PM Modi. The timing of the article couldn’t be worse for the PM with two crucial rounds of voting to come.

The article covers the rise of Narendra Modi from an ordinary tea seller to holding the most important office in India. The article gives a background on PM Modi first rose through the ranks of RSS to eventually head Gujarat as the Chief Minister and then covers the Gujarat riots under his watch.

His dramatic shift from a Chief Minister to Prime Minister and the backdrop in which the 2014 elections took place. The article highlights the promise of development which gave him a popular mandate and how he lost the way giving in to extreme Right-wing politics. It mentions mob lynching and minority intimidation by the extreme Hindu supporters of the BJP, violence against lower castes, and poor record on women’s security are factors that show the PM in very poor light.

The article is critical of the PM’s choice of Yogi Adityanath as the CM of Uttar Pradesh and the extreme politics he has mainstreamed.

For a celebratory high of making it to the cover of TIME in 2015 as India’s hope for development to once again making it to the cover in 2019 but as a great divider is something the opposition parties in India is bound to use against the PM.

The remaining rounds of voting will show if there was or wasn’t an impact of this development.

Is Priyanka Gandhi’s presence in U.P helping the BJP?

Congress in-charge of eastern U.P Priyanka Gandhi is certainly making her presence felt wherever she goes, and her endearing persona seems to connect with locals. There is no doubt she is a personality who can pull votes for the Congress, and that should be good news for the party, but is it?

There is a paradox in the 2019 general elections in U.P. The SP-BSP-RLD alliance developed by keeping Congress away. The disagreement was on seat sharing between the Congress and BSP. The latter drew blank in 2014, and Congress believed it was the larger entity in play in the state and therefore deserved a higher seat share.

The decision of the Congress to go it alone is creating a three-cornered contest between the alliance, Congress and the BJP. Historically, any division of opposition votes have benefitted the BJP and with Priyanka Gandhi adding to a Congress resurgence in terms of additional votes is likely to help the BJP.

A straight fight between the alliance and BJP would have given the former an advantage but keeping Congress out of the equation may end up a show spoiler for the SP-BSP-RLD alliance.

BS Yeddyurappa sparks political controversy claiming 20 Congress leaders ready to shift loyalty

Former CM and BJP leader in Karnataka BS Yeddyurappa said 20 Congress MLAs were unhappy and were willing to switch loyalties. The statement created a buzz among political circles as it comes in the concluding phases of the elections.

It’s a crucial statement as voting for Kundgol and Chincholi – two assembly seats are taking place on 19 May, and the attempt seems to be to influence the outcome.

The Congress-JD(S) alliance remains strained in Karnataka, and the BJP has been attempting to break away MLAs. If BS Yeddyurappa’s statement is indeed true, then both the Congress and JD(S) will indeed be worried.

Jyotiraditya Scindia confirms Congress paying the long game in U.P

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia has indirectly confirmed what many believe to be the Congress party strategy in U.P. Speaking to the media he said it was in the party’s long-term interest to fight the 2019 elections on its own.

From his statement, it is apparent the strategy is to prepare the ground early and do well in the 2022 assembly elections in U.P. Sometime back, Priyanka Gandhi too, had made a similar statement asking voters to prepare for the next assembly elections.

The plan is to build momentum after winning the 2022 U.P assembly elections and then launch the campaign for the 2024 general elections. If true, it reveals, for now, the party is willing to play second fiddle to any coalition government outside the NDA, and wait to perform well in 2022 assembly elections in U.P.

But first, they have to cross the 2019 hurdle.