Category: Election

India chooses NDA again with thumping majority; 10 reasons behind stunning victory

Modi_Shah
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah (Image: Twitter)

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, the ruling National Democratic alliance (NDA) has come back to power with a greater verdict compared to 2014. The NDA has won over 350 out of 542 Parliamentary seats that went for polls for the 17th Lok Sabha. His party, the BJP, has won over 300 seats, 30 above the magic number needed to form government.

In contrast, main Opposition party, the Congress, could increase its tallies of 2014 polls only by handful of seats (from 44 to 52).  The party president Rahul Gandhi lost his seat Amethi, a family bastion, in Uttar Pradesh though won the second seat, Wayanad, from Kerala.

The results affirmed PM Modi’s claim a day after the final phase of polling that his party as well as all alliance  partners in the NDA would return with more number seats than in 2014 elections.

The marathon polling exercise was carried out between April 11 and May 19 in 7 phases, while the counting of votes were counted on May 23.

Political pundits list the following reasons for the stunning victory for the BJP-led NDA:

  • Decisive leadership and clean image of Narendra Modi
  • Welfare schemes and Direct Transfer of cash into beneficiaries’ accounts
  • Surgical strike and Balakot airstrike in response to terror attacks
  • Improved relations with other countries which helped isolate Pakistan, vis-à-vis terrorism, on the world stage
  • Amicable poll pacts with alliance partners stitched by BJP president Amit Shah
  • Effective poll strategy by Amith Shah with a focus on seats where the BJP was in the second place in 2014 elections in states like Odisha and West Bengal.
  • Abusive campaign against PM Modi by Opposition leaders, particularly Rahul Gandhi (with slogans like Chowkidar chor hai)
  • Personal ambitions of regional satraps, which came in the way of stitching a dominant alliance
  • Voters’ fear of a ragtag bunch coming to power, leading to political instability
  • Modi’s ability to convey the message and strike a chord with people
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Election results 2019: Guns and gaalis ahead of counting day

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Ramchander Yadav, a candidate from Buxar LS seat, brandishing gun in a press meet

Are Opposition parties gearing up for violent protests if Lok Sabha result goes in favour of the NDA alliance? The Ministry of Home Affairs on May 22 alerted the states and Union territories on the possibility of eruption of violence in different parts of the country. The Ministry has asked them to bolster security of strong rooms (where EVMS are stored) and counting venues.

The alert comes in the wake warnings of bloodshed and taking up of arms from Opposition quarters, “if EVMs are found tampered with”. In Bihar, RSLP chief Upendra Kushwah, whose party is in alliance with the Congress and RJD is reported as saying, “There is tremendous public anger and blood may spill on the streets, for which we shall not be held responsible.”

At the same time, former RJD leader and Independent candidate from Buxar Lok Sabah seat, Ramchander Yadav brandished a gun before media, threatening bloodshed if results go against them.

Such elements are apparently encouraged by veteran leaders from major political parties. Look at Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s response to Election Commission’s decision to stick with the laid out procedures on EVM counting.

His statement accuses the Election Commission of eradicating the credibility of EVM, and making the device as BJP’s victory machinery. His party colleague Udit Raj, a recent import from the BJP, has asked if the Supreme Court is part of poll rigging in favour of the ruling party, after the apex court rejected yet another plea over EVM

To make the matter worse, a section of media is engaged in spirited campaigns against the Election Commission. Is there a sinister plan to instigate people to protest against the results as Exit Polls predicted a BJP-led NDA victory?