Coinciding with the launch of teaser trailer of the much awaited “Game of Thrones” India witnessed its own teaser trailer to the 2019 general elections. With relentless campaigning, from gotras to changing the names of cities, Indians have witnessed a very intense fight in the five states- Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, and Telangana. The Election Commission of India revealed the results on the 11th December.
Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) the incumbent national party faced a humiliating defeat in all five states, failing to garner a voters’ share in the south, the Telangana Rashtra Samithi(TRS) in Telangana swept the elections with a thumping majority and won a second term in the state. The Chief Minister of the State-K. Chandrasekhar Rao dissolved the assembly this September hoping for early elections which would help him retain his popularity among the masses and the results clearly show that his antics have worked. His schemes directed towards the farmers of state helped him garner good voters share among the rural voters. His attempts to put Hyderabad on a world map with the hosting of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit has appeased the urban voters. Not to forget his close association with the AIMIM party chief- Asaduddin Owaisi which acted like a brownie point. On the election day, however, mass voter deletion occurred.
BJP had a disastrous defeat in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, both these states are believed to be its stronghold. In Rajasthan, the Congress relied on the state’s ‘revolving door’ anti-incumbency factor which dates back to 1993. Both the Chief Ministerial candidates of Congress-Ashok Gehlot and Sachin Pilot contested and won their respective seats. Congress banked on the hostility of the voters towards the BJP due to the agrarian distress and promised to solve it. Mamta Banerjee addressed the press on the 11th and pointed to the fact that the mounting arrogance of the BJP was a cause for its loss in the Hindi hinterland.
The Indian National Congress managed to dethrone the three-time Chief Minister Raman Singh and win the assembly elections with a majority. The agrarian crisis and the financial state of the country are credited for the loss of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the state. A new shift in Rahul Gandhi’s image adds to the Congress party’s advantage.
In the North-east state of Mizoram, Mizo National Front is all set to form the government with a majority. This marks a ‘Congress Mukt North-east’. This records the win of another regional party in the five-state battle.
Madhya Pradesh, the state that has kept everyone on their edge. Since the morning of 11th, Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been trailing close behind one another. It was a very intense fight which left everyone gripped to their screens. The ‘Mama’ charm still seems to last over the people of Madhya Pradesh and proves that Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a force to be reckoned with. The anti-incumbency was not of a great advantage to the Congress. About 19 seats in Madhya Pradesh including Ater, Bioara, Beena, Datia, Dhar, Jabalpur the margin between the leading and trailing candidate is below 900. The Election Commission issued a statement on the 10th stating that the Election returning Officer can order for recounting if a candidate raises an objection on the seats where the margin is below 1000. The Congress is known to have approached the lawmakers of other parties and a coalition seems likely. It looks like the three-time Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will most likely be dethroned.
Looking at a broader perspective it sets the tone for the upcoming general elections. The Modi wave seems to lose its charm and the dissatisfaction and anger mounting over BJP regarding various issues from the recent agrarian crisis protests to the infamous demonetization. The Shah-Modi magic is slowly but steadily wearing off, the government’s interference with institutions is visible and the citizens are clearly disappointed by the narrative the BJP has chosen to endorse. The anti-incumbency factor and the reformation of the Congress Party under Rahul Gandhi have steered the party to a victory.
If we believe that this will set precedent to the 2019 general elections, then there is going to be rigorous campaigning and pitching in of various contests. What the future holds in store for the country looks interesting to ponder upon.