The world’s largest democratic nation, India is going to polls in few days from now and with battle lines drawn between the ruling NDA dispensation and opposition UPA coalition.
While PM Modi is going ballistic increasing the patriotic fervor showcasing the surgical strikes on Pakistan as India’s show as superpower in the international arena, Rahul Gandhi is turning Rafael deal as crown of corruption. He continues to charge the Modi government for unemployment, demonetization blunder and for letting the likes of Nirav Modi, Mehul Chowksy and Vijay Mallya escape from India with thousands of crores of public money from banks and also not being able to bring terrorists Masood Azhar and Dawood Ibrahim to India.
Both the Congress and the BJP are trying to also stoke religious and caste sentiments and woo the people to cast their votes for them. Under these circumstances, analysts are out to find out the real important issues that decide the winners in the 2019 elections. According to Pew Research Center (PRC) new report, the two important issues that could play an important role in the coming elections are inflation and unemployment. 76% of adults feel a lack of employment opportunities is the biggest problem in the country at present. They also feel that the parties are yet to address key issues like wealth gap and also communal relations.
Even analysts feel that though PM Modi has been stressing on India’s growing stature as a world power at the international arena, people across the world are not giving much importance to India. However Indians believe that India’s presence at the world stage increased significantly. While the leading parties are trying to make corruption an important poll issue, people are not too much concerned about it. They are of the opinion that corruption cannot be uprooted and so this will not be a poll issue under any circumstances.
Analysts meanwhile feel that few issues may prove to be death knell for the ruling BJP led NDA government. They include farmers issue. Thousands of farmers committed suicide across india, out of hardships and embarassments faced at the hands of Banks and NBFC’s (Non-Banking Financial Institutions) going after them due to loan defaults. Many even complained of lack of power supply, lack of irrigation and losses incurred due to not being able to get the right price for their crops. While Congress is promising populistic measures like loan waiver, BJP is coming up with promises like MSP for Kharif crop at one and a half times the cost of production.
It is alleged that Congress and the opposition parties are trying to stoke the fear factor among the minorities. The attacks and lynchings of minorities by the fringe elements like Gau Rakshaks is seen by the public in a negative manner and this goes against the BJP government in a big way. BJP on the other hand is trying its best to counter it with the slogan ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas’ claiming that UPA policies are only for minority appeasement unlike theirs which are for minority upliftment.
Welfare measures are highlighted by the ruling BJP as the biggest achievement. Modi’s BJP has been promoting many schemes that promise to deliver by March 2019:
- 10 lakh toilets
- one crore houses under the PM Awas Yojana
- electrifying 2.5 crore households under Saubhagya and
- cover 10 lakh people under Ayushman Bharat insurance scheme
Six crore gas cylinders are claimed to have already been distributed under Ujjwala as the biggest achievements. However, Congress spokespersons are trying to puncture the claim by saying that the benefits did not reach the poor and the downtrodden.
While Narendra Modi still claims that demonetisation helped in curbing corruption, blackmoney, terrorism etc and brought in transparency in transactions etc, the opposition alleges that demonetisation itself was a big scam, helping the ruling party in amassing wealth in the process. Even GST, while Modi government claims it a success, opposition parties led by the Congress, continue to term it as Gabbar Singh tax.
It is also seen that while the BJP went all out to woo dalits, but increasing cases of dalit atrocities, cow slaughter controversy and the government’s dilly-dallying on the SC/ST Atrocities Act changes as well as the implementation of reservation in promotions are all acting against it. The opposition however continues to take advantage by painting Modi as the villain of Dalits.
Women empowerment and upliftment is another issue that can play an important role. The government launched many schemes like Swachch Bharat scheme, Ujjwala, Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana, Poshan Abhiyan and Indradhanush for the health of women and children and Jana Dhan Yojana for financial security but growing atrocities on women are acting against the government.
On the other hand, Rahul Gandhi has promised to get minimum 33% Reservation for Women in the Parliament and State Assemblies, thereby stealing the show from the BJP which kept mulling the same reservation but couldn’t implement.
Another issue, the Triple Talaq ordinance, increased tempers as Government claimed that it ensured gender equality by declaring the practice of talaq-e-biddat or instant triple talaq by Muslim men a criminal offence with a jail term. On the other hand the opposition claimed that it was an infringement in Muslim personal law and should not have been criminalised.
Apart from it, the credibility of EVM’s is also becoming a contentious issue as the opposition continues to cry foul over EVM credibility.