AYNTKA- Indian General Elections

The election bandwagon has officially rolled in, and has gotten the entire country talking about the upcoming general elections. The election season in India brings with it an overwhelming state of enthusiasm, excitement and fervor, with this edition being no exception. Here’s All You Need To Know About The Indian General Elections, 2019.

The Facts

The 2019 Indian general election is scheduled to be held in 543 constituencies all across the country in seven phases from 11 April 2019 to 19 May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. The counting of votes will be conducted on 23 May, and on the same day the results will be declared.

The reigning government, i.e. the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, will go up against the opposition, the United Progressive Alliance(UPA), led by the President of the Indian National Congress, Rahul Gandhi.

The Players

The Bharatiya Janata Party has once again portrayed Narendra Modi as the prime ministerial candidate, and are confident on the back of a steady five year tenure and the backing of many regional parties under the NDA like AIADMK and the Shiv Sena.

It is a new beginning however, for the Indian National Congress, as the elections would be their newly minted President’s first major campaign. Rahul Gandhi is being projected as the Prime Ministerial candidate, and along with their major UPA allies such as the NCP, RJD, DMKetc, the Congress is leaving no stone unturned in their preparations.

The Campaigning Strategies

The two parties have adopted vastly varying campaign strategies. The BJP has chosen to highlight its plans for the future and their slogan “Mein Bhi Chowkidar” is resonating across the country and lending steam to their charge. India’s brutally efficient response to the Pulwama terror attacks is also adding heavy weight in the ruling party’s favour.

The INC however, is building its campaign on a focussed anti-incumbency call. Flaws and malpractices in the current Government’s functioning have been vehemently pointed out, none more so than the infamous Rafale deal. The party is also zeroing in on combating the BJP’s grassroot voter connect as one of their major action plans.

The advent of social media is making its presence felt too, as all parties have dedicated social media strategies. No party is holding back in unleashing barrages of accusations and jibes at each other and the resulting superfluity is analogous to an online war.

Another quirky yet noticeable supposed coincidence is the release of quite a few political themed movies in the months leading up to the elections. The release of movies like URI, Thackeray, The Accidental Prime Minister and PM Narendra Modi have been touted as a shrewd plan to mass influence voters, which if true, is really indicative of how election strategies are truly evolving in this country.

The Verdict

The 2019 General Elections promise to be very intriguing and will go a long way in shaping out the next decade or so. The partial digitization of the voting process, which enables voters from outside of India(NRIs) to also cast their vote, is a positive step forward. Hence,while there is no clear favourite to emerge victorious, we can expect fireworks and a great battle in the weeks to come.