It’s ‘Rahul Rising, Modi Sliding’ As India Races To 2019
Fresh off his victories, Rahul Gandhi had one person to thank in particular and it was none other than prime minister Narendra Modi. In his own words, the PM taught him ‘what not to do’ during his five-year course on leadership.
While 2019 has always revolved around these two central figures, their fight has mostly been seen as a no-brainer. But the state election results in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have changed this narrative and how? For the first time since taking charge, Modi seems to be on shaky grounds while his nemesis takes to the skies. This sudden twist in the political landscape ahead of the all-important general elections has stunned one and all. Piplsay reached out to voters across the country to see how if and how perceptions have changed in this race to the PM chair.
No ‘Acche Din’ for Modi
While the past one year saw anti-incumbency slowly setting in, the latest results have shown that it is now all-pervasive. Despite both Modi and Amit Shah diving in head first into election campaigns, they were not able to gauge or alleviate the rising unrest. Both went back on their promise of dropping unpopular MLA’s during candidate selection, a move that seems to have cost them heavily. These outcomes, along with past events like Gujarat elections may be reasons why a vast majority of Piplsay respondents feel that the once powerful Modi- Amit Shah combine is fast losing its steam.
Though these state elections were fought on local issues, Modi’s unfulfilled promises nevertheless weighted in heavily. His silence on burning issues like price rise and joblessness also did not go down well with the voters. Going by the Piplsay survey, if there is one thing that has hurt him the most, it has been the fuzzy impact of Demonetisation and GST. The former in particular was raked up time and again by the opposition, and media, making it one of the core poll issues.
Rise of the Pheonix?
For someone who was almost written off, Rahul Gandhi today has become the talk of the town. His show of strength began with Gujarat elections last year where his party gave a scare to BJP on its own home turf. This was followed by the Karnataka thriller where Congress managed to keep BJP out of power by aligning itself with Kumaraswamy’s JDS. Throughout his campaigning, the Gandhi scion refused to indulge in personal attacks and restricted himself to matters of development.
But its the three latest wins that seem to have consolidated the Congress presidents position as a credible leader. Although the contribution of other state leaders in this success is not lost on people. Still, the fact that over 70% of Piplsay respondents have come to think of him as a principal challenger to Modi lends weight to his growing clout.
The 2019 polls once easily predictable seems to be inching towards a nail-biting finish. The next few months is nothing short of an acid test for both Congress and the BJP whose leaders who are seeing huge swings in their popularity. The race to ace the game has truly begun. It’s time to strategically connect the dots for the loser may not get another such shot.