With an idea of encasing the momentum, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is seemingly considering advancing the 2019 General Lok sabha Elections to the fall of 2018. This is said to be an idea to retain the tempo post the recent landslide victory in India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh. Not only advancing the elections, but also sources suggests that the Government is planning to bring One Nation, One Election policy. This is mainly said to be aiming at cutting down the cost of holding elections in the country.
Modi is seeking advice from the Election Commission and NITI Aayog on the fallout if such a decision has to be taken. There are also speculations that such gigantic legislative changes cannot be put in place until 2024. Considering the economy of the country, it is important to cut down humongous election spending. Conduct simultaneous polls to Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies is also promise that was included in BJP’s manifesto for 2014 General Elections.
Political cognoscenti claim that the move of advancing elections could give Modi an advantage in the elections. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has backed Modi’s idea of One Nation, One Election and has encouraged him to go out and seek the referendum for the dual polls. As a lone star campaigner for the party, he has very deeply plunged into state electioneering and has emerged successful in gaining power in several states so far. Modi and the party have had tremendous success in the elections thus far that were considered as referendum to government’s policies. The central government’s other policies is being appreciated across the country and as a campaigner, Modi has been very successful in capitalizing to reach out to the masses. The idea of simultaneous Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections can also help in increasing Government’s efficiency by reducing time spent on campaigns. The Prime Minister is also said to be deliberating with a host of Chief Ministers of different states to receive feedback regarding the idea.
In connection to this, Amit Shah has planned a ‘Bharat Yatra’, which is an obvious indication of unending electoral preparedness. Modi planned to defy all conventional suppositions and consolidate his power, so that he emerges in a stronger position for the upcoming General elections. After the stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh which was seen as a referendum to Modi’s demonetization drive, BJP has eyed to maintain the hype and encash it. BJP and Modi have the advantage of being backed by a formidable political machine with an efficient network that are constantly working on ground to get its election calculations right and a strong war chest of no match.
One can recall that the results were disastrous for the NDA, when it decided to cut short its tenure by six months in 2004. However, the situation is not the same now and Modi seems to have a better foothold.
Article by Navneet.