The ruling NDA led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the opposition mostly spearheaded by the Congress president Rahul Gandhi are going head to head to project themselves as favourites for the next general elections. The former is confident that their performance over the four years and PM Modi’s charisma will give them a bigger win this time, while the latter declared that the government did not fulfill its promises and disappointed the people on all fronts. It is a fact that the masses will be the real judge to give their verdict on the government but the ground realities will guide them to come to any conclusion. To tell the truth Congress deprived the BJP a chance to form the government in Karnataka. Being the single largest party the BJP had a right to have its say. The BJP was confident to exercise its right, but the quick decision on the part of the Congress tilted the balance and the BJP’s sober attitude left it to repent and the former with the help of JD(U) surpassed the major party. At that time the opposition parties showed a wonderful unity when almost all non-NDA leaders gathered at the swearing-in ceremony of the CM Kumaraswamy, forcing political circles to think that the BJP would face a hard nut to crack in the 2019 polls if these parties were to come together.
This myth of unity bust up very soon. Many opposition parties declined to align with the alliance led by the Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. Trinamul Congress leaders presented their leader Mamata Banerjee as the next PM. However, the hopes of unity that germinated at Bangaluru swearing-in ceremony proved to be bubbles of air when Congress could not retain its supremacy in the Rajya Sabha where it has been calling shots. In the contest for the deputy chairman of the House, Congress candidate B K Hariprasad was defeated by the NDA sponsored nominee Harivansh Narayan Singh of JD(U) by 20 votes. The BJP did not push its own candidate but proposed its ally JD(U)’s candidate and got the support of Shiv Sena the rebel ally of the BJP and persuaded the Biju Janata Dal to change its mind at the eleventh hour. The TRS also sailed with the NDA. The credit for maneuvering should go to the BJP president Amit Shah. The Congress miserably failed to gather the support of the parties which are opposed to the BJP. Today’s story can turn into tomorrow’s tale.
Against this background, one can hardly deny the Prime Minister’s claim that the BJP will win the 2019 election with bigger numbers. In a comprehensive interview, Modi asserted that the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ was a failed idea. He said his was a strong and decisive government. He alleged that the Congress led alliance was a non-ideological combination. His plank for the next election would be development, fast development and development for all. On lynching, he said it was a crime, no matter what the motive was. He also rejected the Congress onslaughts on Rafale deal and said it was a transparent government-to-government deal. He said it was propaganda to undermine national interest. Taunting the Congress the Prime Minister said his opponents did not have faith in the Chief Justice of lndia and now they did not have faith in the Supreme Court-monitored exercise i.e. NRC. On the pertinent question of jobs, he said more than 45 lakh formal jobs were created between September 2017 and April 2018.
The Prime Minister is armed with logical arguments to convince the people in poll rallies with his powerful style of speaking. The opposition seems unlikely to blunt his sharp attack.