Gujarat and After: How are the stars for Modi's 2019 Magic?

December 14, 2017

The 2014 Hawa:

           In the year of 2014, Narendra Modi led BJP won 282 Lok Sabha Seats and the NDA in total won 336 seats out of the total 543 electoral seats, the seats won depicted a 166 seat jump, and this jump was attributed to Modi himself, and since then the party has been continuously winning assembly elections with Punjab being an exceptional existence.

 On November 8, 2016, the government came about with the demonetization scheme which led to the downfall of GDP figures, as depicted in the below chart. The move also resulted in jobless growth, distress amongst the trader community and the overall gloom in the growth prospect of the nation. 
           To make out for the losses caused due to the scheme, Modi led NDA government successfully implemented the 122nd Amendment Bill (GST Bill) which was formulated to bring in the entire indirect tax system within a single bracket helping in avoiding red-tapism, cascading of taxes and tax reduction. But, the hasty implementation of the scheme led to further backlash from the trading community and this distress further had an adverse effect on the overall growth rate of our country to a three-year low of 5.7% in Q2 2017. The BJP has been facing hurdles in its very home turf Gujarat due to the failure of economic progress under Modi and the lack of Job Growth in the country. The friendly gestures in which Rahul Gandhi has been tackling issues has also been a cause of concern for the BJP in Gujarat. The following write-up will touch upon the topics relevant to the upcoming state elections during the fall of this year and will also explain the actual possibilities of the party's image building in Gujarat and its impacts on the 2019 follow-up elections.

Gujarat Elections 2017:

The Gujarat Model:

             The state is ranked 10th regarding Poverty according to the 2011 census report (The higher the number, the better the performance), compared to its earlier 2nd rank in the year of 1993 out of all the other states.

These numbers reflect the flow of funds directly to the Industrialists and the affluent counterparts in the state rather than the money reaching the poorest of the poor and hence undermining the functioning of the Model. Modi visited Gujarat more than six times before the election dates were announced, he also attended the state to inaugurate a slew of projects and flyovers right before the election dates were announced. In various campaigns, the leader has been entirely ignorant in touching upon the Gujarat Model. Is it because of the failing 'Capitalist' model which the BJP government has been propounding all over or is it due to the failing model which the leader now wants to distance himself from?

 The questions are still laying unanswered, and the opposition seems to pitch in for better utilization of the issue.

The Reservation Agitation:

              Beginning with its first protest in the year of 2015, this agitation has burgeoned into being a political movement with its 22-year-old commerce graduate Hardik Patel taking a tough stance on the reservation issue. Adding fuel to the fire, the same year also saw protests from the Dalit community led by Jignesh Mewani after a series of hate crimes committed against the Dalit population in the state by self-proclaimed Gau Rakshaks. The Dalit Community and the Patidar community together possess a 22.5% vote share amongst the electoral college of the state. Adding even further consolidation is the Alpesh Thakur contingent which promises to bring into the Congress party a 10 to 15 % of the entire OBC community in the state.

 Together it can be assumed that the three leaders can bring around the change in numbers of vote percentage by merely swinging at least a 9% vote share thus filling the vacuum that was existent between the two parties earlier, but the reality of these numbers is still unpredictable.


             Going by the various pre-poll surveys  conducted by media houses it can be established that the BJP party is seen as the final winner. Also steeming out from Aadhimarg Group's extensive spot coverage, the Congress party is not strong enough to break in through the BJP's local mechanisms and party structure. Further down the blog, we shall be discussing on issues based on the assumption that BJP will be winning in the state of Gujarat with a comfortable margin.

2019 Follow-Up Elections:

               The BJP party chief Amit Shah coined the phrase, "Congress Mukt Bharat" during the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Campaign. This catchphrase propelled the Bharatiya Janata Party to absorb more than 15 states into its ruling bastion, with the Congress party degenerating even in self-acclaimed Congress Stronghold states. It must not be forgotten that the Congress Party has been operating from the Defensive all while, unlike the BJP which has been working from the Offensive Front. In most states, it has been the BJP taking over the reins and not the BJP retaining its controls. This in itself is a clear indication as to the matter of the fact that the BJP faced the backlash in incumbent states like
Punjab were the SAD+BJP combo poorly lost to the Congress Party which had been playing the reverse in this particular election. Similarly, drawing a parallel between the two, the 2019 follow-up general elections must be fought on the defensive for the BJP. Modi should shout-out the success of his economic reforms in the country, the corruption free stature of the government and also the versatility of the government on different fronts whether it be Doklam or Pak or the POTUS.

   For Example, the BJP won Maharashtra right after the Prithviraj Chauhan led Congress government faced corruption allegations and anti-incumbency, this scenario was replicated in states like Haryana, Jammu, and Kashmir, etc. This will be applicable for the BJP led NDA in the 2019 elections, and the government will have to project its success in economic as well as social fronts. Moving forth, in the year of 2018, we have 8 states going to vote for their new Chief Ministers,
The list of states having assembly elections next year

 with 3 of these states currently being ruled by the Congress, 3 by the BJP and 2 by others parties. The three BJP ruled states, M.P, Chattisgarh, and Rajasthan face stiff challenges from the local Congress leaders like Sachin Pilot and also anti-incumbency in few. Assuming that the BJP wins in at least a 5 out of the 8 states and the Congress winning three, it will be a major jolt for the Congress but a massive boost of morale for the BJP workers. This boost will definitely be a massive push for the party's 2019 victory, but if the numbers are anywhere below 3 for the BJP, then it will be a tough job for the Modi-Shah combo to again dominate the sphere of Vikas-Politics.

                     Credits: Times Now

          The big question here is, who will win the 2019 elections? The answer to which is quite simple: the BJP, but the prediction of the number of seats the party is going to win is instead a tough question. With one and a half more years to go and with only 30% completion of the promised manifesto related activities, it is indeed quite hard for the BJP to expect a more significant majority but it seems clear that the party is heading for a predicted second term and I conclude this article by stating that the New-Rahul Gandhi reformation can crack open the Modi-Shah juggernaut only if he continues his current style of operating. If he continues his soft-Hindutva touch-up, helps craft alliances amongst caste majors and increases his participation in the Lok Sabha to a greater extent it may help in depicting himself as a formidable leader. The reformed Rahul seems to be a new threat to  the BJP and the
BJP can hope to limit this threat until the completion of the 2019 elections and further down the line we may never know as to what this young gentleman will actually turn out to be. And that, I leave for the reader to decide.
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