2019 General Elections: LokSabha

Forget the glory came with Modi in 2014 

Long ago, some journalist, human right groups across the globe were lamenting the rise of the right wing , orthodox Hindu nationalist goverment in India. The incidents of beef related killings, 'love jihad' gave them sleepless nights , compelling them to predict the onset of terrible times for the minorities. At this stage, BJP appears the strongest party.Its strength becomes three- fold, a leader, an ideology, and a cadre.
But with all this,BJP know that the magnitude of victory in 2014 may be difficult to repeat. Centre- left in India symbolises  socialist ideals, and India's religious and spiritual legacy of renunciation . In addition , over the years , the centre-left has also come to symbolise a slothful attitude, a confused mindset overburdened , or rather weakened , the idealism, mental weakness and resistance to any event that disturb social, religious and cultural comfort zones.
The center-right symbolises an undercurrent of hindu nationalism in the backdrop of any social, political activity. It also symbolises a general commotion and change, but within the reasonable limits of the comfort zone of hindu mind. BJP is likely to face the same challenge in Rajasthan Elections, where in 2014 it had won all 25 seats
 The margins with which BJP lost Rajasthan by-elections early this year are a pointer to this. Pressures of anti- incumbency could operate in MadhyaPradesh, Chattisgarh, and Haryana too.In the key state of UP, where BJP got an unbelievable 71 seats out of 80 seats in 2014, the tally could change dramatically in 2019 if the opposition- SP, BSP and Congress comes together.
In Bihar BJP gain with its alliance with JDU (U), but the strength of RJD's Muslim-Yadav combination cannot be written off.

In Bengal, where Mamata Banarjee reigns supreme and in Odisha, where Naveen Patnaik is still dominant, BJP could gain marginally only, but not in numberes that can compensate for what it could lose in its principal catchment areas.South of the Vindhyas - CPI(M) retain its hold over kerala, the sole state in which it is in power now.

In Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana the situation is evolving, a lot will depen on which party makes the right alliances. In Maharashtra an alliance between NCP and Congress with some support from BJP's disgruntled ally Shiv Sena, could pose a challenge to the present BJP goverment.Therefore, BJP could well find that the tsunami of 2014 is down in somewhat by 2019. If not merely posturing for greater negotiating strength in case BJP's tally is significantly reduced, angry allies like Shiv Sena and BJP could be an additional liability.

In popular perception, BJP lossing its ground is by incidents of killing of innocent people over beef rumour and love jihad.Across the country, incidents of communal tension bringing routine life to halt have risen in number.Most often, thugs have taken over by incidents of these kind, they are sparked off by petty scuffles over slognas of "Vande Mataram" & "Bharat Mata ki Jai" or Mob violence over beef smuggling and love jihad. Such street-level Taliban styled radicalisation of Hindus has not only tarnished image of India, but also fueled Muslim radicalisation. In politics, now, the Muslims rally around their hate- mongering communal leaders like Asaduddin Owaisi,unlike the previous situation when most of them rallied around supposedly - secular parties like Congress. Barring small fanatic fringe elements, the mojority of Hindu suppoters of the BJP are not comfortable with such Taliban-styled violence,terrorism and regressive Hindu Nationalism.

Challenges Ahead for Opposition : 2019

The much bigger challenge that 2019 poses for the Opposition, If it believes that it can come to power merely by riding on discontent against BJP, then they are living a pipe dream. What the people of India will look for when they cast their vote is whether a credible national alternative exist or not.Merely a conglomeration of parties, without a convincing narrative of governance and promises of cohesive functioning, will not sway the voter away form BJP. Congress which could emerge as the single largest party within the current opposition, must acquire the organizational rigour to micro- manage elections and the maturity to build alliance with other parties on a proacitve , timely and accommodating basis, unlike the ad hoc, last minute SP-Congress alliance in the last UP assembly elections.A third front is improbable, and if formed wil be without a binding ideology, only a political brokerage firm in case of a hung verdict. It appears at present that opposition is banking more on rhetoric and less on national strategy.
In addition, it is riddled with too many larger than life egos. Chanakya taught us that adverse position can be reversed by tactical planning.
I doubt though, if many in opposition have read Chanakya. If BJP wins in 2019 it will be largely due to the fragmentation, lack of vision and organizational weakness of the Oppositons.
Thanks for giving time and reading my blog- Ashfaque Nabi


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CP Rahul Gandhi Presided His First Congress Working Committee Meet


The last week marked a significant milestone in the congress party's run-up to the 2019 General Election campaign as Congress President Rahul Gandhi Presided over his first Extended Congress Working Committee.

Right from the Independence struggle , the CWC has always been a unit that sought to give a voice to every citizen of the country. Congress Working Committee in the past have been instrumental in making decisions that helped steer our young democracy in the direction of ideas of tolerance, respect, and secularism that form the foundation of India.

With the new Congress Working Committee, Mr Gandhi has struck a wonderful balance between senior leaders and young voices of India. The new CWC is a refection of Congress President Rahul Gandhi's vision for India and it consist of individuals who represent the massive diversity of our country. The CWC's delibrations and actions led our country to achieve Independence from colonial rule. In these difficult times, the new CWC will, yet again, rise up to the occasion and restore the ideals of our Constitution by leading the Congress Party to victory next year.

In one of the major new breaks of the week, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's lies in the Parliament stood exposed as the Congress party mounted a fresh attack on the Narendra Modi goverment over the Rafael Deal (more like, Rafael Scam). This Scam has looted the indian taxpayer of Rs 1,30,000 crore and the Prime Minister still refuses to come clean.

Shockingly, the Defence Minister's statement massively contradict the ones issued by her own goverment. Despite being questioned on the Rafael Deal in Parliament by Congress President Rahul Gandhi, neither the defense minister nor PM Modi have given a satisfactory explanation for why the deal was inflated and then taken away from a PSU like HAL ( Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd) and given awayy to a private corporate friend of the Prime Minister.

Several questions about this deal remain unanswered and the Modi government lies stand exposed in front of the nation.
The Rafael Deal pertains to the defense of our country, and the fact that PM Modi would care more about his friends than about national security merely goes on to show where the priorities and loyalties of the BJP lie.

The Modi government's incompetence in stemming the rise of black money was also exposed by the Congress party last week in a press conference. New data shows that the mojority of money flowing into the country after 2014 is from tax haven countries. With a new scam breaking out every week, it is no surprise then that the Modi govenment has failed to deliver on its promise of curbing black money. In fact, as we have seen over the past 4 years, the Modi government has actively aided and abetted all those who have stolen money from India and fled off to foreign lands without any consequences.

Speaking of looting, last week also saw a devolopment in the case of PM Modi's "Mehul Bhai" who fled the country after engaging in the nation's biggest bank loot. While Nirav "Chota" Modi remains far away from the hands of law, it turns out that PM Modi's "Mehul Bhai" has acquired the passport of Antigua and Barbuda. The fact that he was able to do this despite being an accused in India's largest bank loot raises serious question about the commitment of PM Modi's government in bringing him to justice.

It can be safely assumed that a bank looter cannot secure the passport of a new country without friends in high places. While we understand that he might be "Mehul Bhai" to our PM Modi, the job of the government is to bring criminals to justice regardless of who they are and who they might be close to. It is time for the nation to remind our PM about his Rajdharma yet again. While we are sure that he will continue to remain mum over this, we can sitll reassure ourselves by remembering thi: Bas Ek Aur Saal.

We are all aware of the growing menace of online bullying and trolling ever since PM Modi came to power. On social media platforms , anyone that disagrees with or criticism PM Modi is routinely subjected to a volley of abuses and trolling. Women on social media have also been subjected to profanity and rape threats. Sadly, a vast mojority of these bullies and trolls are also followed by the PM himself. Amidst such an environment, it is important for us to understand how bullying works and to equip ourselves with the necesary tools to fight this online menace.

Last week, the congress party conducted an anti-bully workshop which saw personalities from all walks of life address young Indians about how to deal with government sponsored trolls. Organised in association with Rajiv Gandhi institute for Contemporary Studies, this workshop raised some important issues about contemporary online discourse in India, the Modi government's support and sponsorship of online bullies, and also about means and ways to combat these trolls.

And this closes my roundup of the week gone by,I wish you all a wonderful week ahead and encourage you to keep fighting the good fight but with a lot of love and tolerance.