4 March, 2024


Electoral Fortunes In India In 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

By S. Sivathasan

S. Sivathasan

The full spell of Modi governance has cast threatening shadows on the hurriedly assembled formation of disparate elements. This alliance with little unity and less cohesion has neither a worthwhile programme nor a futuristic road map nor a specified leader. Living for the day and merely nitpicking on the incumbent government having a popularity voting at 86% of the most desired party for the coming seat of government, will not take the Congress and the Alliance even remotely visible to the BJP. Success upon success appears to be Modi’s destiny. 

Modi on the Ascendant

While Modi takes the BJP confidently on the ascendant, Rahul Gandhi and the 22 cohorts have immersed themselves in murky waters. Even as the Modi wave raged on from 2018, opposing parties have been in a dither from the very beginning. The wave developing that year had its landfall in January 2019 for Modi and the BJP. To counter it, in a seeming pretense of solidarity, 22 opposing formations finalized their math. This was on 12th January 2019, when a Grand Alliance (GA) was cobbled together by caucuses doubtful of their individualistic prospects. Yet they were sure, non-survival this round, would spell extinction thereafter. Hence a fight with the back to the wall.


Grand Alliance in Vanishing Mode

Leaders were vying only to be PM. Modi wave had by then turned into a Tsunami and a surge followed. Then the deluge and on 12th March 2019, the GA, however grand, gave way and is now in shambles. Debilitation by the day is now the fate of that Alliance. Modi had proved that 1 has greater momentum than 22. He and his party appear to have breached the seat barrier of 300 as stand-alone BJP. Together with pre-poll alliances they have approached 340 as NDA, an Alliance stronger than in 2014. This assessment is not made on the ubiquitous debates and discussions or from polls on opinion and voting. Some are very sound and throw much light; many are plainly tendentious. Media bias calls for no proof and the reason therefor is not hard to seek. As of now social media too stands tainted and it is the opposition that is paying the price by losing credibility.

“Gujarat is my Atma and Bharath my Paramatma” – Modi at Gujarat meeting

Modi and His Pool of Cranial Intelligence

Blessed with high intelligence, having the sense for the possible and the practicable, unafraid of those of even higher endowment, Modi displayed his knack for composing groups of all talents. Never ill at ease with any of them, he has only exuded confidence among his compeers. Be it as Chief Minister, be it in parliament or in cabinet, he has been primus inter pares. The same record holds in the management of the party. All these traits are now public knowledge and surveys show him as India’s best Prime Minister ever.

The country knows that for governance, he has opted for men of dynamism who have demonstrated a capacity for achievement. Such a selection composes the cabinet. The same story holds in choices from the bureaucracy and technocracy. Five years of success bespeak the unremitting commitment which has yielded striking results. All these and very many more are an unrelenting reproach on the opposition parties both in state and at centre. Hence the dread of Modi and the dislike flowing therefrom. Vastly more threatening is the steady flow of facts buttressed by statistics ably presented by Modi and his top-notch Ministers.

Modi addressing election crowds in Thiruppur Tamil Nadu

What Do They Convey?

The level of awareness of the widest spectrum of the Indian polity has changed. Mindset is now to move in tandem with the change, speed and transformational mode of the Modi administration. Irreversibility of progress made so far is now a fact of life. Very convincing speeches to multi-lakh audiences, by the top leadership of the BJP, forceful discourses in political debates and instructive writings are continuing to change the world’s largest electorate into a cauldron of change. Social media widely available in India are vehicles to carry viewpoints daily to hundreds of millions. This is happening on a scale, never before seen. The impact of this deluge on misinformation of a weak opposition is well known. May it be understood that the print media has lost its power to sway. How passion moves the masses was best known to Nehru and he has declared its efficacy. Now Modi discerns it as well and bases his forecast of 300 plus seats for NDA  – as at early April – on that potent factor.

Opposition parties have been driven into the wilderness by the BJP government’s shining record of achievements. Megawatts delivered in the power sector make sense to the masses when they see lights burning in their house for the benefit of their children and their education. International Energy Agency praised rural electrification in India in recent years as one of the greatest success stories. To assist in the common man’s ease of living and to promote clean air, Modi government provided 130 million cooking gas connections in 55 months to the disadvantaged. Congress governments in 55years had given 120 million gas connections.

Housing for all by 2022 wins credibility when houses in the five-year term are visible in the countryside. Sanitation coverage in rural India, 38% in April 2014 reached 98% by February 2019. Health insurance to a maximum value of Rs. 500,000/= per family for a staggering 100 million families is a world’s first in magnitude. These are but a few examples to throw light on a vast multitude of people-oriented schemes. 

Of conspicuous mention is the wide and swift adoption of the Biometric Identification System particularly in government to people financial transactions. Government benefits hugely, when transfers are made with the avoidance of leakages bypassing middlemen. Rajiv Gandhi a former PM once disclosed that among others, in poverty alleviation schemes of the government, only 15 % reached the beneficiaries. Multiple leaks plugged and large scale corruption getting eliminated have placed huge amounts of resources into state coffers. They are now visibly manifesting in massive real estate and changing people’s attitudes towards the ruling party.

May it be known that nearly three years ago with a single stroke of the pen, Modi siphoned off an unprecedented amount of central finances to all the federal states. Coterminously he also strengthened the States’ authority for approvals and expenditure. Substance of federalism has been made more real. The fall out is that the nation’s finances are shared as 68% states and 32% centre. Governance and development apart, as affirmed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, as many as 950 subsidies are administered by the states and centre. The world’s wealthiest grouping – OECD countries – supports agriculture and agriculturists, with both huge producer and consumer subsidies. Politics is the art of the possible and the world manages itself and its obligations this way. When well administered the electorate turns pro government. Snow balling is afoot and results will be seen on 23rd May.

Volatile States

Four of the larger states with 209 constituencies compose 38.5%  of the national electorate. Maharashrata the second largest with 48 seats stabilized on the day RSS allied with BJP early this year and stands at 40 seats. The other three, Uttara Pradesh 80, West Bengal 42 and Tamil Nadu 39, having 161 seats among them continue to be volatile. Yet in all three, BJP is inching forward beyond 50%. In a month’s time the picture will be stable.

Nehru and Modi

On the eve of independence in August 1947, Nehru made his memorable, inimitable speech.

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny,” Yes, as the greatest intellectual in the freedom movement at that time, Nehru was one among them.

“and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure,” Nehru had a brief space of a mere 16 years to lay the foundation for a mighty structure. He also had the humility to admit “not wholly or in full measure”. To do it very substantially Patel had the briefest 2 years. 

“but very substantially. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new,” The historic occasion came in 2014 and it fell to the lot of Modi to enable India to step out from the old to the new.

“when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance”. Congress age ended and the soul of India has begun to find utterance. The Manifesto provides glimmerings as to how.

To consummate the process very substantially, Modi and the BJP need 10 more years. They are on the threshold of getting it. 

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Latest comments

  • 4

    It is obvious the writer is an ardent supporter of Modi. Modi who while chief minister in Gujarat, did nothing, and said nothing, when over a thousand Muslims were slaughtered, raped, and attacked, by Hindu nationalists, because of an unfounded rumor. Modi’s Hindu nationalist policies have caused a lot of grief among the Muslims, who suffer, and are killed by primitive Hindu mobs, again, because of unfounded rumors. If these vigilante mobs hear of any rumor that a Muslim is eating beef, they can attack and kill. This is the result of Modi’s Hindu nationalism, and policies.
    “Modi’s India is a living nightmare for Muslims”
    “Anti-Muslim hate crimes are not just encouraged but also rewarded by those in power. According to a report on hate crimes released by Fact Checker, 76 percent of victims of hate crimes in India over the past 10 years have been Muslims. Ninety percent of these attacks have occurred since Prime Minister Narendra Modi was voted into power in 2014.
    By labeling Muslims as “beef eaters” and expanding bans on the consumption of beef by putting in place new rules to curtail cow slaughter that disadvantage Muslim and lower-caste Hindus, the Hindu nationalist BJP is encouraging young Hindu men to become so-called cow vigilantes, who brandish their patriotism and faith by physically attacking Muslims. Even a rumor that a Muslim family ate beef for dinner, or a Muslim man ferried a cow to a slaughterhouse, can prove fatal in the hinterlands today.
    When Muslims are not being lynched for bovine-related reasons, they are attacked for marrying Hindu girls, for sporting a beard, or for wearing a skullcap or other symbols of religious identity. They are berated on popular, state-favored news channels for being ungrateful betrayers and traitors who have no love for the national flag.

    • 1

      Here are Modi’s failures, and the promises he could not keep.

    • 1

      The Navin comments should be read and understood by Lankan political patrons and/or sympathisers of BBS.

  • 2

    The writer is a Modi fan and one cannot expect better.
    Yesterday, BJP issued statement on its official twitter account ensuring implementation of NRC and removal of every single infiltrator except Buddha (Buddhist), Hindu, Sikh to create a “New INDIA”.
    This was echoed by BJP’s head Amit Shah, Primew Minister Narendra Modi and minister Maneka Gandhi, all within 24 hours.
    That is how desperate the BJP is.
    The terrorist attack in January was a bonus. Claims of success of the Indian counterattack were false, but to question it is was deemed unpatriotic.
    The launch of an ASAT missile in late March was another stunt. An earlier launch in February was a failure that was not mentioned, but NASA reported it after the successful launch.

    • 3

      Blessed are the comments and the commentators, for they enlighten.

  • 1

    Author S Sivathasan’s wishful thinking is for Modi to amass “Electoral Fortunes In India In 2019 Lok Sabha Elections”.
    Modi has all but wiped out secularism in India.
    Modi has perfected the Modi-silence to deal with Dalits and/or Muslims being brutalised by Cow-vigilantes.
    Modi does not change laws. He waits for Courts to do it for him like, for example, decriminalising same sex love and the triple talaq divorce.
    Sivathasan prays “To consummate the process very substantially, Modi and the BJP need 10 more years”.
    And Sivathasan’s wishful thinking “They are on the threshold of getting it”.

  • 2

    The write-up is onesided and that can be understood he is a Hindu fundamentalist. He has cleverly glossed over the fact that in Tamil Nadu, BJP which is contesting seven seats is likely to win only one or most two seats. Tamil Nadu politics is different from other states. The state is secular thanks to stalwarts like Periyar, Anna and Kalaignar. The Dravidian parties have ruled the state for the last 53 years beginning from 1967. It will remain so for the next 50 years or more.

    Of course, Modi has proved himself a leader of the poor and downtrodden. His achievements are remarkable if we consider the fact he hails from a poor family and with no family background to boast of. His success as a Prime Minister is solely due to sheer hard work, commitment and determination. in contrast to Congress Prime Ministers. Manmohan Singh was a dummy Prime Minister the real political power wielded by Gandhi family that took the final decision.

  • 1

    The former senior Civil Servant Sivathasan plays a dual role here. First as a fan of Modi and his BJP which Modi has led remarkably -for a first time Premier. Second as a Forecaster of the April/May General Elections. Here to suggest “BJP as a stand-alone will get above 300 and with their allies as NDA over 340” appears more in the realms of wishful thinking. The best analysis so far by the ToI Analysts predict BJP alone might only scrape through a thin majority. These analysts feel the BJP will need an ally for 10-15 seats to gain a majority.
    The ground reality is Modi/BJP have left many millions disappointed in the huge farming sector. Modi’s De-Monetization exercise was more a failure than a success although the idea itself has much popular aura and support. Where the more literate
    educated voter sector is concerned, Modi/the BJP failed to bring back the many billions of dollars illegally held by Indian corporates and individuals in European banks – a major election promise 5 years ago. The sluggish growth of the GDP from its earlier + 7% levels is another minus for Modi/GDP.
    In fairness to Modi/BJP it may be said that since he took over the global economy has struggled along in an environment of recessionary tendencies. To suggest, therefore, BJP, in many ways, have delivered is not an exaggeration. More importantly Modi/BJP have been free of mega-financial scandals although the Congress-led opposition and their media support tried to exploit the Rafale Jet plane issue. The Rupee limping along to the near Rs.70 to the US$ is another Modi worry. Yet in spite of all this Modi and friends have overcome the usual disadvantage of the incumbent factor in the giant Sub-Continent moving to be the 3rd largest economy in the world.

  • 2

    The Author being a Hindu would naturally support Mr Modi who has got the ability to have huge masses to follow. Our MR too has that ability.
    But MR’s ego on building ‘white elephant ‘ projects with the Chinese help has made SL fall in to a hell hole and are crippled for ever.
    The SL masses need to be informed of the crimes of the MR Regime from 2005 to 2015. This was followed by another wasted 5years under two headed Snake!
    I would like to know from the Author about his predictions for the Sri Lankan’s Elections.

  • 1

    Modi belongs to a class background diametrically opposed to the Nehru-Ghandhi Dynasty.
    We had this in Srilanka too when the Rajapakses dislodged the Bandaranaike clan.
    But the irony is that the Rajapakses during a short span of 10 years or so set about a Dynasty of their own.
    In that sense it is not genuine but made in China!

  • 1

    whatever mr.sivathasan says, it will be a total failure for bjp and admk in tamilnadu, there is no room for hindu fundamendalist in TN. other places, anybodies guess. if bjp wins goodbye to secularism and that is what siva wants.

  • 0

    SARRC – try to rule a continent too busy breeding and spiritual/religious at the same time & happy to abuse each other all the time in the name of ‘whatever’……..is a challenge only can be addressed if we have one party rule like in China. All else is a waste of time………..look at what happed to our Mother Lankan Children for the past 40years………look at Sri Lanka period.

    Then look at SARRC functionality speaks for itself a complete contrary to regional corporation………..one and only think we are good at is breeding……is someones else responsibility to feed my creations.

    Good luck to Mr Modi and all his Oppositions………….’democratic’ selection never will achieve secularism/social justice for all because we the people who are so flawed/prejudiced elect the same/like minded in the first place??

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