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What do you predict who will form government at center Congress or BJP after General elections?

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With an upswing of about 4 per cent in vote share, as reported in recent polls/surveys, can the Congress tide over its lowest ebb (44 MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha) and dethrone the incumbent? Perhaps a deep dive into two latest surveys — CSDS-Lokniti and Times Now-VMR — will serve the purpose.

The first votes in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be polled on April 11. Both the principal parties — the BJP and the Congress — are entering into the general elections with a likely 4 percentage point increase in their vote shares. However, as per CSDS-Lokniti pre poll survey, this increase in the BJP’s vote share appears to be largely at the cost of the non-United Progressive Alliance (UPA) parties. Thereby, this increase vote share is unlikely to fetch more seats for the BJP.

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Does that mean the GOP, like they usurped the reins in 2004 general elections from the popular Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government, will form the union government with its alliance partners in 2019? According to Sanjay Kumar, director CSDS, 2004 and 2019 general elections cannot be compared as the voter base for the Congress party between the two elections are remarkably different.

“2004 and 2019 not comparable. The support base are different. Before 2004 Elections Cong had 28.5% votes, before 2019 Cong has 19.6% votes,” Kumar tweeted.

The Congress party sure has its task cut out. In the BJP won 207 parliamentary constituencies with a margin well over one lakh votes (see box 1). The Congress was routed. The party endured a 9.03 per cent negative swing, lost 162 MPs – from 206 MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha to just 44 MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha – and its vote share was reduced to a measly 19.6 per cent.

Will a 4 percentage point increase in vote share suffice then? According to Kumar even if the party pulls off about 7 per cent increase in its vote share the Congress is unlikely to win over 100 seats in the 2019 general elections.

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There is no “Modi wave” — is perhaps the only silver lining for the opposition parties. Most surveys predict advantage BJP-led National Democratic Alliance, but add a rider that the alliance could just fall short of a majority.

Though Times Now – VMR latest survey points at a close contest between the NDA and the UPA, predicts Congress-led UPA will finish a distant second.

According to the survey NDA will get 2.6 per cent more votes than in 2014 but the alliance will lose 57 seats and will be reduced to slender majority with 279 MPs in the 17th Lok Sabha. The UPA with 30.7 per cent vote share, as per the poll, is likely to add 89 MPs to its 2014’s tally and take 149 seats (see Box 2).

The results for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be declared on May 23, the jury is out till then!

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Beside facing defeat Rahul Gandhi to contest election in 2024 from Amethi!

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Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Arjun Munda, Babulal Marandi, Maan ki Baat, Mahagathbandhan, Grand Alliance, Lok Sabha elections, Lok Sabha polls, Simdega, Jharkhand, Politics news

Though he was defeated on home turf Amethi to BJP’s Smriti Irani, Congress President Rahul Gandhi will again contest from the seat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, a party leader said.

The Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said that Gandhi will never leave Amethi.

“He has done a lot of work in Amethi and will continue to do that. And in 2024, he shall return there to contest again.”

Gandhi, who was contesting from Amethi for the fourth time, on Thursday lost to Irani by a margin of over 55,000 votes. However, he won from Kerala’s Wayanad by a record margin.
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The Congress leader pointed out that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s sons Sanjay Gandhi and then late former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had carried a lot of work in Amethi.

“People still recall the works done by the Gandhi family in the area,” he said, adding that there is no way the family would leave the seat. About the party’s dismal performance in Amethi, the leader said that win or loss is part of the game. “But we are definitely going to put a tough fight in 2024.”

The Congress has lost the seat of Amethi thrice since 1967. The Congress has won the seat of Amethi from 1967. In 1977 general elections, Sanjay Gandhi lost to the Janata Party candidate but won it back in 1980. After his death in a plane crash in 1981, Rajiv Gandhi won in the by-elections later in the year and retained the seat in 1984 and 1989 elections.

After Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991, the seat was won by Captain Satish Sharma, a close friend of Gandhi family. He retained the seat in 1996 but lost to BJP’s Sanjay Singh in 1998. Sonia Gandhi, after entering active politics, won the seat in 1999. However, to make way for Rahul Gandhi in 2004, she shifted to the neighbouring seat of Rae Bareli. Before losing in 2019 general elections to Irani by 55,000 votes, Rahul Gandhi had won from Amethi in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

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