India Elect 2019: How Elections are Won and Lost

India News

The BJP is all set to win the Lok Sabha elections with a massive margin as the leads suggest the party will easily achieve the halfway mark and even cross the 300 mark.(- at the time of writing this)

The Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the BJP’s win to the country.

“Together we grow. Together we prosper. Together we will build a strong and inclusive India. India wins yet again! #VijayiBharat,” PM Modi tweeted.

The BJP managed to keep its core states – the Hindi heartland, Gujarat and Maharashtra – while posting fresh victories in Bengal, Odisha, Karnataka and the northeast.

After the Victory

The biggest compliment for BJP chief Amit Shah’s organizational prowess came from former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti. She acknowledged that the principal opposition Congress needed an election planner that matches Mr Shah’s electoral skills.

She was referring to the Congress’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress, which had won only 44 seats in the 2014 polls, saw another debacle in 2019. Its performance in the states that it had won recently in assembly polls is also hopeless. Total rout in the three states it had won just 5 months ago!! The Congress got 1 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, nil out of 25 seats in Rajasthan and only 2 out of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh. Its an irony that despite having a dream launch-pad with victory in three assembly elections, the Congress could not capitalise on it. It didn’t do anything worthwhile in the three states that could be presented as an alternative to the Modi regime.

To observers, the Congress acted like an obstacle to those who wanted to bring an alternative to the BJP. Even when the Congress could not defeat the BJP, it resulted in diverting a lot of the energy that got drawn to it.

The Shape of the New Indian Parliament, 2019

Poll Results Predicted Earlier

Axis My India-Today seems to have come closest in its predictions.

BJP’s Bholanath records lowest victory margin; wins Machhlishahr seat by 181 votes

Two-time BJP MP C.R. Patil. He won the Navsari seat in Gujarat by a margin of 6.89 lakh votes — the highest margin in 2019 polls.

Factors which contributed to NDA’s spectacular second term win:

(In descending order)

  • Pulwama attack, Balakot strikes in February 2019 and India’s response to it: this mattered the most, in the absence of which, nothing else would have worked for the NDA,
  • Organisational attributes. BJP’s credibility is due to its pan-India presence,
  • Money Power. BJP mobilised 95% of donors’ money, 98% of charter planes for campaigning, and plenty of space in media coverage and advertising,
  • Populist measures like Train 18, namami gange, etc.,
  • Growing India’s stature overseas, PM Modi getting 7 such awards,
  • PM Modi’s relations with muslim nations,
  • Congress disoriented campaign starting from jenau dhari Hindu,
  • Divided Opposition, the alliances that weren’t,
  • No alternative PM candidate, too many PM aspirants,
  • No option other than Modi.

The Congress surely had no strategy for building a Mahagathbandhan. This can be compared to how Amit Shah’s BJP brought back the Shiv Sena, AGP, JD(U), Apna Dal, Nishads in U.P into NDA fold with how the Congress dealt with its alliances in U.P., Bihar, W.B. and Delhi.

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