News Analysis |
The BJP passed a resolution for making a “new India” by 2022 on the conclusion of its national executive meeting. Meanwhile, a joint opposition in the Indian parliament observed a Bharat Bandh (Nationwide Shutdown) in protest of rising prices and falling value of the Indian rupee. The events show the ratcheting of the political atmosphere as 2019 Indian elections loom on the horizon.
Sunday was the second day of the two-day national executive meet of BJP being held in the national capital. “A Lot of developmental work has been done in last four years, we will have new India by 2022,” declared the BJP’s political resolution.”This government has vision, passion and imagination, and the works of this government can be seen. By 2022, India will be free of terrorism, casteism, communalism and nobody will be homeless,” BJP leader and human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters.
The BJP also deliberated on the 2019 elections and chalked out a strategy for the coming electoral battle. The incumbent party presented a resolution to chalk a strategy for the upcoming assembly polls and Lok Sabha polls, which was presented by the senior party leader and home minister Rajnath Singh.
The opposition was also on the BJP’s mind as it dismissed the opposition’s alliance with regional parties as nothing more than “hogwash”. Javad ekar stressed “The opposition is dreaming. Neither do they have a leader, nor a strategy. Their negative mindset is driven by the sole objective of thwarting the Modi-led government from coming to power in 2019”
A day before, BJP chief Amit Shah had gone on the offensive against the opposition in his inaugural address at the party’s two-day national executive meet, the BJP chief haddeclared the “mahagath bandhan” (grand alliance) of his party’s rivals was for the singleaim of “fulfilling self-interest” He also added that the BJP had defeated each one of the parties in the mahagath bandhan in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Asserting that the BJP would return to power in 2019 with a bigger majority than what it got in 2014, Shah claimed that such an alliance would make no difference to the BJP’s fortunes. He accused the Congress of “breaking India”, while the Narendra Modi government worked for the purpose of “making India”.
Meanwhile major businesses, public services and traders’ association in several states are unlikely to function on Monday following calls of ‘Bharat Bandh’ by the Indian National Congress in protest against the BJP-led NDA government’s failure to restrain the rise in fuel prices and the falling value of the rupee, among other issues. The Congress president Rahul Gandhi arrived at Rajghat in the national capital to kick off the nationwide shutdown.
Rahul Gandhi is anticipated to enact a two-km-long march from Rajghat towards Ramlila Maidan as part of the protest. The Congress asserts that upto 21 opposition parties are supporting its call for nationwide bandh, who are coupled with a significant group of chamber of commerce and traders’ associations.
The Indian National Congress has derived support from parties such as former PM HD Deve Gowda’s Janata Dal (Secular), Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), former Bihar CM Jitan Ram Manjhi’s HAM(S), Samajwadi Party, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (Marxist), M K Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) among others.
General elections are due to be held in India in April or May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Many observers are looking at the electoral exercise as a make or break moment for both major parties, the BJP and the Indian National Congress. The BJP rose to power in 2014 playing on national discontent over major corruption scandals as well as rising prices. Ironically it faces the same challenge as its tenure ends and now it is the Congress that is using the same issues with full force.
Read more: Modi faces toughest election test in 2019
The 2019 elections will also be significant for Pakistan. The new PTI led government in Islamabad is hopeful for meaningful peace talks to start after the 2019 elections. According to sources, peace overtures were appreciated by circles in Indian politics who called for a delay in dialogue till the 2019 elections. That would explain the largely mute reaction of the Pakistani government to provocations like the Sidhu affair.