After the 2009 Lok Sabha election results, a famous journalist wrote a piece arguing that in the 2014 elections, the fight will be between the Congress Party and various regional parties. The BJP, it predicted, would be broken as a national alternative.
But politics is the game of glorious uncertainty. Things change in a few months. After 2012, we saw the rise of the Modi juggernaut which attained its peak in the 2014 general elections. Congress saw its lowest tally of seats – 44.
Since then, the BJP has won most state elections in various ways. But since the last two months, we are seeing a resurgent Rahul Gandhi giving Narendra Modi a run for his money. If we deeply analyse the state-wise situation, then I, personally, can surely say that Rahul Gandhi is going to be Prime Minister in 2019.
Here are five points to back up my argument for which I might be called ‘anti-national’.
BJP got 282 seats, out of which 87 were from Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh. In these states, the BJP was in direct fight with the Congress. If we see the situation in these states, the BJP has been losing ground big time.
In Rajasthan, four by-polls were held in the last three years and Congress won three of them. Most importantly, three seats were vacated when MLAs of BJP got elected as Member of Parliament after 2014. It clearly proves that in Rajasthan, the BJP is losing ground due to the hard work of Sachin Pilot.
In the case of Madhya Pradesh, in 2014, BJP won 27 out of 29 seats, but in 2016, in the Ratlam-Jhabua parliamentary by-polls which occurred due to the death of the BJP MP, Congress’ Kantilal Bhuria won by over 88,000 votes. In the recent Chitrakoot assembly by-polls, BJP lost badly. It shows that Madhya Pradesh is slipping away from the BJP.
The case of Gujarat is well-known to the world. Due to different movements by young leaders, the BJP had to remove its chief minister and now, in the run up to the assembly elections, we are seeing a troubled and nervous Prime Minister even trying to use other means to affect the election. In Gujarat, Rahul Gandhi is at his best and it will be better to say that this is Rahul Gandhi version 2.0.
In the case of Uttar Pradesh, BJP won 73 out 80 seats in alliance, getting 40.8 % of the vote share in 2014. In 2017 assembly polls, the BJP alliance got 39.7% votes, getting 325 seats out of 403. In numbers, BJP is going down. But here, the issue is that the combined vote share of Congress, the Samajwadi Party and the BSP is around 51 %. If a three party alliance materialises, the story of Uttar Pradesh will be completely different.
In south India, there is anger against AIADMK in Tamil Nadu. With Jayalalitha’s death and infighting within the AIADMK ranks, it looks like the Congress and DMK alliance can get maximum seats from Tamil Nadu.
In Kerala,with three ministers of LDF alliance resigning in the last one year, the situation is improving for the Congress-led UDF.
In West Bengal, both Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress and the Left parties cannot ever side with the BJP in case of a hung parliament. Also, with Amit Shah going after Bengal, both parties will probably try and see Congress in power at the Centre and remove Modi.
In North India, Punjab is for Rahul Gandhi what Karnataka was for Indira Gandhi after 1977 loss. Punjab results gave Rahul Gandhi and the Congress some relief as did the Gurdaspur by-poll results.
Taking this into account and the failures of the BJP on the economic front – like jobless growth and the note ban and the GST – the people of India might give a resurgent Rahul Gandhi a chance. The Indian parliamentary system is a game of permutations and combinations and 2019 will probably be a good year for Rahul Gandhi.