Ending speculations, when Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat announced the dates of the polls in five states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana State on October 6, the political pundits and even a common man are taking these elections as the semi-final to the general elections in 2019 which will decide the fate of the Modi government, the leaders of which particularly the BJP president Amit Shah boasted to rule the country for five decades. Boasting is not bad particularly when it shows the confidence of a person, but when it reflects the unsound and dictatorial pride sans any base it is bound to be a nose-down. There is no denying of the fact that the Modi government has miserably failed on many fronts and the tenure of the establishment is now nearing its end, the people’s wrath is on the rise day after day. Consequently the Prime Minister’s popularity graph is sliding constantly showing the mood of the people. It was an occasion of ‘Vijay Sankalp Sabha’ in Rajasthan when the PM was to launch his poll campaign on October 6 but the audience that turned up to hear him was very poor. It was the day when the EC was to announce the dates of polls. O P Rawat was scheduled to make his announcement at 12.30 but it is said due to PM’s address and Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s announcement of sops to the farmers, the timing was delayed by the EC and he addressed the media at 2 pm.
According to the schedule, Chhattisgarh will go to polls on November 12 and 20 in two phases, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram on November 28 and Rajasthan and Telangana on December 7 and the results will be out on December 11. Telangana, where the assembly was dissolved by the Chief Minsiter K Chandrasekhar Rao, was clubbed with other states where the tenures are scheduled to end. The Congress is making high-sounding claims to wrest power in Telangana but the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has a solid and concrete base of fulfilling number of its poll promises. So far the BJP juggernaut failed in Delhi, Bihar and Punjab and the party scraped through in Modi’s own state of Gujarat, but now before general elections it is likely to lose its power in Madhya Pradeh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. According to a recent survey by a TV channel which is known for supporting the BJP, the ruling party will see a total defeat in Rajasthan while the Congress is in a very comfortable position in Madhya Pradesh. In Chhattisgarh the BJP is facing anti-incumbency and the Congress is enjoying people’s support, but the Ajit Jogi-BSP alliance may play a significant spoiler. The other factor which is going against the Congress is the BSP’s decision to go alone in these states. This decision is confined to the assembly elections only and in 2019 the picture may change.
It is a crucial time when the results of the assembly elections will have an impact on people’s mind all over the country and it goes against the BJP that the Rafale deal has shattered the image of the PM as a crusader of clean and uncorrupt government. The denial of the government is too weak to convince the people at large. The spiralling prices of consumer commodities are destroying the domestic life of the poor and the middle classes. There is no gravitational force to stop the rising prices of petrol products. The economy has not grown faster in the last five years than it did during the UPA regime. The ghost of unemployment is haunting the youth and the Prime Minister is advising them to ‘make pakodas’. Most will depend on the alliances that will emerge on the eve of the 2019 elections, but what is certain is a rough weather for the Prime Minister.