I came across several anti BJP people who are convincing themselves and their friends that 2019 will be similar to 2004.
I’d like to interrupt their premature celebration.
Firstly, one has to see the circumstances of the two situations.
From 1999 to 2004, when the BJP was in power at the centre(leading a coalition with 180odd LS seats of its own) the Congress party was still a strong force through the length and breadth of the country. Can you name the states where the BJP was in power during that period?
Gujarat, Goa, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh What are the total number of LS seats from these States?
(Ok, they were minor partners in AP, and UP)
Congress and allies were in power in MP, CG, MH, KA, RJ, PB, KL, HR, BR, JK.
In the 1999 LS election, the difference in the seats won by Cong and BJP were 60 odd. The BJP had virtually zero presence in vast swathes of the country.
In December 2003, BJP won handsomely in the assembly elections of MP, CG, RJ. It gave a sense of false security for the aged warhorses of the Vajpayee Govt, who went to polls six months in advance.
What happened in the 2004 elections:. The INC improved its tally by 20 odd seats to reach 145. BJP lost 40 odd seats to huff and puff its way to 138. Yes, INC led BJP by 7 seats. It was a hung parliament. But in the name of secularism, the INC is able to attract a large number of political parties to its stable.All family based parties( almost all the regional parties) share a similar DNA as the INC and are quick to jump into their side to share and enjoy power. The left parties won over 60 seats, their highest tally ever in the sixteen general elections held in free India. Surprisingly, they lent support to the newly formed UPA. (Withdrew in 2008, with less than a year to go to the general elections)
The states of UP, TN and AP gave the death blow to the Vajpayee Govt in 2004. Together they constitute 162 seats and BJP barely got into double digits. The complete annihilation of Chandrababu Naidu and Jayalalita(drew a blank) was the story of the election. In UP, it lost two thirds of the seats it held in the outgoing Loksabha.
Now, compare these things and scenarios with the possible scenarios in 2019. There is a real possibility of Congress not having any major state under its rule at the stroke of next Gen elections. Karnataka is the only state they hold as of now and it will be next to impossible to hold to that state in 2018. Chattisgarh may be a reality for the Congress as they narrowly lost the two previous elections and are a big force there. Not to mention, the BJPs lead and popularity there is wafer thin. As far as GJ, MP are concerned, they are surely going the UP- Bihar way for the Congress: oblivion and a marginal player with small pockets of influence. As of now, the BJP has the highest number of assembly seats in the country. Somewhere in 2015, Congress lost this privilege it held right from the first election.
INC is at its weakest point in history. It is led a mediocre part-time, forced political heir.
BJP, on the other hand is at its strongest point over, with the strongest leader ever.
Comparing 2004 with 2019: Even if the BJP loses a hundred seats from its 2014 tally, it will exactly match the 1999 tally it secured under Vajpayee. Now 180 seats is a big thing in post Mandal India. BJP will still be able to form the government. In fact , most BJP supporters would have gladly accepted even 180–190 seats in 2014. But from the high pedestal of the 2014, that figure will seem like a gargantuan fall.
The Modi government is doing a very good job on all the fronts. Be it helping people over a tweet or fulfilling basic needs like electricity or infrastructure, it is leaps and bounds ahead of any government in our history. The way the North East is given focus, I feel, of the 25 seats in the region, BJP+ is aiming for over 20 seats. Along with a few more seats that the BJP will win in KA,OD, KL, WB it will be able to minimise the obvious deficit it will face in states like GJ, RJ, MP, UP, BR where the performance was unbelievably good for even for die hard BJP supporters. (Won all but 19 seats out of 200!!! )
The best hope of the anti BJP:
Now if anybody thinks that the non NDA parties are fighting to form a govt ala 2004, they are mistaken. Given the scenario,NDA is not going to lose 150 plus seats. So, BJP will still be able to head the government. But what they are aiming for is a tally for BJP in the sub 200 range. That will ensure that the mandate will be read as a defeat to Modi and his policies. A neutral, non controversial, (preferably non RSS ) person will have to be made the PM. The UPA, 3rd front parties will lobby hard to make a person without a pan India mass appeal as a PM. ( Remember Deve Gowda, Gujral, Chandrasekhar?)
They just want to unseat Modi. They are mighty scared of him. Because they know that another full term to Modi will make them useless in the Indian political scene.
They weren’t afraid in 1977, weren’t afraid in the 90s, and won’t be afraid in 2024,provided there’s someone other than Namo at the helm.
Each and every political party and leader from the non NDA camp has been targeting only Modi for the past two years. They are not averse to BJP or NDA. They just don’t want Modi, because he’ll make them worthless. Don’t just take this at face value.Sit back and do your own analysis. Who are the other BJP leaders targeted by them and the media? They are not the BJP leaders who were going strong at national BJP in 2009. Only the ones that are supposedly close to him are targeted.That Namo could be a leader of such elephantine proportions, cutting across social barriers is unbearable to most status quoists.
Although a few BJP backers might have this fear in mind (replay of 2004) I want to stress that a lot of Modi haters want to hear the answer yes, it is possible.
I have just two things to say.
Not so soon.
Anop Srinivas Bhat