The Congress party’s inroad into the Hindi hearland has meant lot of trouble for the right wing BJP. Not only has the party lost in three major states ahead of the parliamentary polls but it also has meant resurgence of the otherwise beleaguered Indian National Congress.
Today’s results that have come up in the states that can set the trend for 2019 general elections in India clearly indicate that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chance to emerge a favourite for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections could well be diminished a bit as the emergence of Congress can help in vote swing in their favour.
Today’s results were more of a challenge to BJP led Modi as compared to Congress President Rahul Gandhi as PM Modi had to win a majority of the five states, while Gandhi had to win just one of the states to put the Congress back in serious reckoning.
An emphatic win for the BJP in the assembly polls in these states would have been read as Modi retaining his magic and gaining fresh momentum. This could have severely impact the prospects of his political opponents in the run-up to the 2019 general elections.
The negative assembly poll results for Congress and Rahul Ghandi could have played a huge spoiler for Gandhi and would have created an impression that his stewardship of the grand old party is yet to translate to electoral success.
It would have also mean that the talk of a mahagatbandhan (grand alliance) of all opposition parties against Modi is actually a lot of hot air rather than firm strategizing on the ground to corner the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The last polls that the Congress won on its own strength were in Punjab and Puducherry last year. In Karnataka, the Congress joined hands with arch rival Janata Dal (Secular) to keep the BJP out of power, despite the latter having emerged the single largest party.
Today’s loss for the BJP has meant a huge setback for it as the oppositions win has left no scope for the BJP to nullify anti-incumbency issues of the government in Delhi and speculations about the BJP to gain enough numbers for a second term at the Centre too have come under a cloud.
Whatever may be the case, the dream run to the 2019 general elections that the BJP otherwise comprehended is no longer a reality? The party will have do something spectacular to get to the parliament with a thumping majority as it did four years back.
The victory has meant that the opposition, especially the Congress will be armed to the teeth to take on the BJP and corner its leadership on various failures that have spelled doom for various sectors.
The BJP as for now has to comprehend its failure to capture these major states and work out a strategy to get the party cadre up and working. Plus the party will have also to work on its tough posturing and wayward thinking.