Modi clear choice of voters despite Rahul Gandhi’s negative campaign, says Rajeev Chandrasekhar

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Updated: May 15, 2019 4:32:12 PM

Lok Sabha Election: Rajeev Chandrasekhar said Prime Minister Narendra Modi remains clear choice of voters despite caste based political parties joining hands against him.

BJP, NDA, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, PM Modi, Congress, Rahul GandhiRajeev Chandrasekhar, BJP Rajya Sabha member.

Lok Sabha Election 2019: The Bharatiya Janata Party will win a simple majority despite an extremely vicious campaign run by Congress President Rahul Gandhi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said BJP leader and Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The country is currently witnessing a Modi wave despite caste-based political forces joining hands against the Prime Minister who has emerged as the clear choice of voters, Chandrasekhar told Financial Express Online in an exclusive interaction.

BJP’s Rajya Sabha member Rajeev Chandrasekhar who has extensively campaigned for the party in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and several other states said the party will improve its tally in southern states as there is a pro-incumbency because of track record of development in the last five years.

“This was a very pro incumbency election and people were responding to the last five years of Narendra Modi ji’s government, and especially when it was positioned and presented in comparison to the 10 years of UPA,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

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The party said it was an extremely positive campaign from its point of view. However, it has accused its arch rival, the Congress, of running a vicious campaign against Prime Minister Modi.

“You can see the Congress has resorted to very negative, very vicious campaign that is targeting the Prime Minister,” Rajeev Chandrasekhar told Financial Express Online.

Unlike 2014 Lok Sabha election when there was an unprecedented wave in favour of the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi because of allegation of corruption like CWG, 2G and Coal Scam, the party is facing a tough challenge from a resurgent Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi. The Congress was able to put up a tough fight to the BJP in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat as it brought down the BJP to 99 seats against its previous tally of 115 seats in 2012 elections.

The Congress was also able to form the government in Karnataka with Janata Dal (Secular) where the BJP had emerged as the single largest party but failed to manage just 9 MLAs to cross the simple majority mark of 113 in a house of 224 members. Similarly, the Congress also snatched three crucial Hindi heartland states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – from the BJP last year just ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

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The BJP which has swept almost all major states in 2014 Lok Sabha elections is also bracing for some loss in north India. The party has won all 27 seats in Gujarat and 25 seats in Rajasthan. It also bagged all 7 seats in national capital Delhi and 7 of total 10 seats in neighbouring Haryana. The party won all seats in Uttarakhand and Himachal. BJP also won 27 of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and 9 of 11 seats in Chhattisgarh. It also won 29 of 40 seats in Bihar in alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Upendra Kushwaha’s Rashrtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and 23 seats in Maharasthra and its ally Shiv Sena that has fought separately bagged 18 seats, 41 out of total 48 seats.

However, it was the BJP’s stellar performance in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh that catapulted the party to the power in Delhi with a clear majority on its own, first for any political party in the last three decades. Narendra Modi’s decision to contest from Varanasi in Eastern Uttar Pradesh energized the party supporters and helped the party to win 71 of total 80 seats on its own in the state.

But in this election, the BJP is facing the combined might of a local alliance of two strong regional parties SP-BSP that had bagged more popular votes in 41 of total 80 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election.

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However, it was the BJP’s stellar performance in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh that catapulted the party to the power in Delhi with a clear majority on its own, first for any political party in the last three decades. Narendra Modi’s decision to contest from Varanasi in Eastern Uttar Pradesh energized the party supporters and helped the party to win 71 of total 80 seats on its own in the state.

But in this election, the BJP is facing the combined might of a local alliance of two strong regional parties SP-BSP that had bagged more popular votes in 41 of total 80 Lok Sabha seats in the 2014 general election.

In Uttar Pradesh, politically influential Yadav community, that account for nearly 9-10% population of the state, has voted in favour of Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, in alliance with Muslims that account for 17-18% of the state population.

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Similarly, Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party enjoys support of Dalit community who account for 20% state population. These two blocs also boast of support of other backward castes and after the entry of Ajit Singh’s Rasthriya Lok Dal that is supported by influential Jat community in western Uttar Pradesh, this alliance of SP-BSP-RLD is considered the biggest challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s bid for a second term. However, the BJP says that these caste and other combinations will not work against the party.

“All this arithmetic that people are talking about saying that this caste equation, that caste equation, it will collapse under the weight and power of one simple question: who do you want as the Prime Minster of this country? And that’s a simple question but it’s a question that will defeat every other arithmetical caste combination, machination that political parties have used in this country for so many years,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar.

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