With the battlefield all set to witness the fight for power in the world’s biggest democracy, there are a lot of issues that play the x-factor in determining the results and the fate of India for the next 5 years. The coming election has the unique distinction of being fought on solid grounds and issues pertaining to development; infrastructure; economy; defence and so on unlike the previous ones that were fought on caste, religion and polarized issues. Here are few of the issues and agendas that the major parties are trying to woo voters with:
Indian National Congress:
1) While INC the traditional party of India is betting on the issues of secularism and upliftment of backward castes; their minority vote bank policies still seem to have some scope for them.
2) Creation of Telangana the 29th state in India really doesn’t give a clear picture whether the INC will benefit from it or get adversely affected by it.
3) INC has tried to give a picture that a number of youth leaders are entering the fray this time with Pilot, Scindia etc. being given important positions.
4) The top layer of INC still talks about how well the UPA has fared in its governance though the country has seen the worst of governance in last 10 years with the parliament being the least efficient since independence.
5) Curbing corruption (the RTI act and Jan Lokpal bill) is one issue INC has been talking continuously on even though their government has been involved in the biggest scandals India has ever seen.
However, the campaign Chief Rahul Gandhi has not really gone aggressive over his campaign, especially on social media that is believed to be a game changer.
The INC campaign, in spite of trying to address a wide range of issues has faced a drubbing, and only time will tell whether the voters of India are convinced by their assurances that have turned out to be largely false since 2009.
Bharatiya Janata Party:
1) The principal opposition party has made its shift from Hindutva to its “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (development of all sections) ideology. Promising a corruption free and accountable government they have set foot in the Kurukshetra of Indian politics.
2) Revamp of the economic situation-especially since the UPA has failed miserably on this front and NaMo’s track record has been exceedingly good in Gujarat; BJP has an upper edge on this front.
3) The issue of price rise and inflation is another area where BJP has left no stone unturned in voicing the woes of the common man, and questioning the present government about its actions.
4) Defence and security is another area where BJP promises better performance , and the increasing number of infiltrations and intrusions in the UPA regime have led to discontent among the people and the brave stance of Vajpayee during 1999 Kargil war is something that BJP can bank upon.
5) The creation of more jobs, SEZs and technology hubs is one promise by NaMo that has helped him connect extensively with the youth. With the idea of a vision document and the 5 T’s (talent, technology, trade, tourism, tradition) Narendra Modi recently proposed in a rally, BJP has one innovative card up its sleeve.
6) NaMo no doubt has completely taken BJP by storm with revamping the entire scenario and bringing in more than 80 new faces and shuffling the process of ticket distribution; with the creation of Telengana, an issue supported for long by BJP and a possible alliance with TDP, the prospects of benefitting in Seemandhra seem bright for them.
It is no doubt that the vision Modi has set for India is very well being reflected in his campaign, and the way he connects with the crowd ( which is remarkably huge for each rally ) is getting a clear visibility among the voters .
Aam Aadmi Party:
A party that has surprised all with its exponential rise and acceptance amongst voters in Delhi and Haryana especially. It sure has startled both the major national parties and especially UPA which had taken people of India for granted after its comeback in 2009.
However the two agendas AAP has taken up for its fight is Corruption and its determination to defeat all the big names in Indian politics. The AAP top leadership has made sure that it spared no one in finding faults and criticizing their governance. Kejriwal, it seems, has made it his daily mantra to criticize Modi everywhere (especially since he does not have any record except that short 49 day period in Delhi), and his mission to stop Modi from coming to power.
AAP is however poised to win over the voters who are frustrated at the way UPA handled the affairs last term. And only time will tell how much vote share of each party they can eat into.
Besides the three national players, a number of regional parties have also come up with local issues in addition to the ones mentioned above. JD(U) and Nitish Kumar are voicing their demand for special status to Bihar; JVM (P) is doing something similar in Jharkhand; The GJM is standing for a separate state of Gorkhaland; and so on.
This election is definitely worth watching out for, as all the parties have taken up some really solid and credible issues. There is not much time left as the beginning of May shall make it clear which party and whose issues are the mandate of voters.