Port Wings, 10 April 2019:
At last, the day has indeed come. The 7-phased general election to send lawmakers to Indian Parliament is to start on 11 April.
Politicians cutting across party lines are already in high-decibel campaign mode to woo votes in the world’s largest exercise in democracy. Polling will held in over seven phases around the country ending on 19 May, and counting of all votes cast will be on 23 May.
Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party are seeking re-election after a landslide victory in 2014, winning 282 seats, termed as largest seats held by a single party in three decades.
Besides other issues, the election is coming off the back of escalating tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region that almost brought the two nuclear armed neighbors to the brink of war.
The Congress Party, main opposition party in the country, has been showing a formidable challenge to the BJP and this time aims to shore up most constituencies in the Parliament.
In December last, the ruling-BJP lost three state-level polls that were widely seen as leading indicators of the national mood ahead of the general election. Among the factors that tarnished the BJP’s image, experts say, were the worsening economic challenges faced by ordinary Indians, despite healthy GDP growth.
It is a fact that Narendra Modi came to power in 2014 with his promises to overhaul India’s economy and generate jobs for young people, around 12 million of whom enter the workforce every year.
However, situation has changed a lot over the years and now Modi’s attempts to portray himself as a champion of the poor, is not reflected enough from the ground.
While both the prime political parties like BJP and Congress are out to woo voters with different types of promises to make people’ s life better, smaller parties from regional level most likely to determine who will get the Prime Ministerial seat at the end of the day.
So, get set ready to see the process which will culminate on 23 May with a grand announcement of which party or alliance has indeed got the mandate to rule the world’s largest democracy.