The Road to the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections

By Sanchita Jain                                                                                                                      Image: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

On 26 May 2014, Narendra Modi became India's Prime Minister with India grappling with issues such as high levels of corruption, indecisive policy making and implementation, and the downfall of business and investment. With the BJP-led government’s tenure approaching towards the end, new developments as well as unsolved problems have been the core ideas of deliberation and debate.

To successfully win over the people of the country in the 2019 elections, BJP is leaving no stone unturned for their election campaign. The Narendra Modi’s government has taken several decisions in terms of political, diplomatic and economic strengthening including demonetization, introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) and surgical strikes against Pakistan. However, there have been several allegations by opposition that the implications of the new policy decisions have had a short-lived impact on the growth of the country.

Some of the key election points have been listed below:

One of the most debated issues in the last four years has been job creation, which has seen conflicting reports and claims about the record of the Modi government. In addition, the BJP in its manifesto in 2014 clearly asserted that they would take strict measures to check price rise of commodities and would set up special courts to stop hoarding and black marketing. However, no special courts have been set up so far. Further, the BJP-led NDA government has failed to control the prices of petroleum products and the country is facing a tumultuous time under highest ever petrol and diesel prices in its history. 

The Women's Reservation Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha in March 2010 when the Congress-led UPA government was in power but the Bill was and is still pending in the Lok Sabha. Despite having a majority in the Lok Sabha, the Modi government has not been able to bring the Bill for passage in the lower house and the commitment of ensuring 33% reservation to women candidates in parliamentary and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment has remained unfulfilled. Amid this scenario, the ruling government has only two more Parliament sessions left to ensure that Bill is passed before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections are held.

The 2014 manifesto attempted to focus on ensuring a minimum of 50% profits over the cost of production for the farmers, reforming Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC) Act 2003, implementing farm insurance and adopting a National Land Use Policy which is yet to be implemented. Farmer distress resulting in higher suicide rates as well as loans with high interest rates and lack of crop insurance continue to be issues of concern.

The first four years of the Modi’s government have been marked by series of economic and financial reforms including taxation, flushing out unaccounted wealth through demonetization, introduction of the bankruptcy code to address loan defaults and the penetration of banking services through Jan Dhan Yojana in the rural areas. In terms of social transformation, rural electrification, rural housing and subsidized rates of LPG have been the major areas of reform along with beneficial schemes for girls including Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, Sukanya Samridhi Yojana among others.

The technological development has accelerated the proliferation of internet users in India. According to recent statistics, the number of internet users stood at 481 million in December 2017 and it is expected to cross the 500 million mark by the end of this year. Although, the figures of rural and urban internet services have improved but the future growth policies must focus on bridging the digital divide that exists between urban and rural India.  

The Indian economy has been facing multiple challenges over the past few months, the stark rise in fuel prices and the ever increasing inflationary tendencies in the economy has been one of the most debated issues. From a financial perspective, the depreciation of the Indian National Rupee against the US Dollar has ushered into diverse complications as it has increased the cost of imports further contributing negatively to India’s current account deficit (CAD) which has reportedly reached its highest in the last 5 years, as of June 2018. 

As the race towards the General Elections of 2019 has begun, the opposition parties have united in their battle against the BJP government. As a result, what happens by the end of 2018 will play a significant role in determining the fate of BJP and as it has been witnessed in the past, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has been successful in forming a coalition government of nearly 20 parties back in 1999, reinforcing the cloud of uncertainty which may grip BJP in the near future. Therefore, dilemma continues to surround with regard to the overwhelming majority that BJP got in the 2014 elections.

Lastly, keeping the current socio-economic and political situation in mind, a second term for the BJP with single largest majority in the lower house is a matter to be determined in due course of time.


About the Author

Sanchita Jain is a member of the Information Services team at MitKat Advisory Services. 

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions represented in this blog are of the author and do not represent those of MitKat. Any views or opinions are not intended to malign any country, religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual.

Published On - Oct 19,2018


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