2019 Indian General Election

Narendra Modi BJP The Indian General elections, 2019 are expected to be held in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha. Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir are expected to be held simultaneously with the general elections. The 543 elected MPs will be elected from single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. The President of India nominates an additional two members from the Anglo-Indian community if he believes the community is under-represented.

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Indian general election, 2019

 2014 April–May 2019 2024 
 members

543 seats in the Lok Sabha
272 seats needed for a majority
Opinion polls
 
Leader Narendra Modi Rahul Gandhi
Party BJP INC
Alliance NDA UPA
Leader since 13 September 2013 11 December 2017
Leader's seat Varanasi Amethi
Last election 282 44
Seats needed Steady Increase228

Incumbent Prime Minister

Narendra Modi
BJP


The Indian General elections, 2019 are expected to be held in April and May 2019 to constitute the 17th Lok Sabha[1].

Legislative Assembly elections in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and Jammu and Kashmir are expected to be held simultaneously with the general elections.[2]

Background

Electoral System

The 543 elected MPs will be elected from single-member constituencies using first-past-the-post voting. The President of India nominates an additional two members from the Anglo-Indian community if he believes the community is under-represented.[3]

Eligible voters must be Indian citizens, 18 or older, an ordinary resident of the polling area of the constituency and possess a valid voter identification card issued by the Election Commission of India. Some people convicted of electoral or other offences are barred from voting.[4]

Previous Elections

The previous general election was held for 16th Lok Sabha in April–May month of 2014 which was won by National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of the current Prime Minister Narendra Modi by defeating the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) led by Indian National Congress (Congress). In the previous general election Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) gained 282 parliamentary seats and Indian National Congress (Congress) gained 44. Earlier there were speculations that the Modi Government might prepone the 2019 general elections to counter the anti-incumbency factor, however learning from its past blunder of preponing election made by Vajpayee Government it decided to go into election as per the normal schedule [5] which is likely to be announced by Election Commission of India (ECI) in the first week of March 2019.

Campaign

On 12 January 2019, Indian prime minister Narendra Modi launched the Bharatiya Janata Party's election campaign, which sought a second term in government.[6] Commentators have suggested that Modi and BJP will base their campaign on Hindu nationalism, relative to their 2014 campaign, which had emphasized job creation and economic developemnt.[7][8]

On the same day, both Mayawati (president of the Bahujan Samaj Party) and Akhilesh Yadav (president of the Samajwadi Party) announced an alliance to contest 76 seats out of the 80 in Uttar Pradesh and the alliance will not fight in Amethi and Rae Bareli as they are represented by Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi . The alliance did not include Congress, which Mayawati explained: "Including Congress in the alliance will hurt SP-BSP prospects as Congress's votes do not get transferred." The alliance was the second of its kind with a similar coalition formed 25 years ago in 1993.[9]

Issues

Agrarian distress

Low food prices[10] and low growth rate of the agricultural sector[11] has created massive agrarian distress,[12] resulting in a large number of farmer protests across country.[13][14][15][16] In order to mitigate the crisis National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government announced an increase in minimum support price but the increase as well as its effective implementation are highly debated.[17][18][19][20][21]

The NDA government announced a "PM-Kisan scheme" which promises an annual direct monetary assistance of Rs 6,000 to small and marginal farmers, unveiled in the Interim Union budget of India on 1 February 2019.[22][23] However, the government's initiative was considered insufficient by farmers from various parts of country.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30] Unhappy with the PM-Kisan scheme, the Bharatiya Kisan Union has called for a bandh on 14 February 2019.[31] Trinamool Congress-led Government of West Bengal and Congress-led Government of Madhya Pradesh have questioned the merits of the PM-Kisan scheme.[32]

In response to the PM-Kisan scheme, Rahul Gandhi of Congress promised farm loan waiver across India.[33] Prime minister Narendra Modi termed a 'gimmick' to win votes.[34]

Job crisis

India is experiencing jobless growth.[35] Demonetisation has resulted in a loss of 1.5 million jobs.[36] The implementation of the Goods and Services Tax has also resulted in a loss of jobs.[37][38]

As of at least 7 February 2019, the NDA government denied the existence of any job crisis.[39] Prime minister Narendra Modi claimed that jobs are not lacking but data on jobs has been lacking.[40][41] CMIE report on job loss showed 11 million job lost in 2018 alone.[42] Government has delayed releasing of the official report on unemployment.[43] Two government officials, including the acting chairperson of National Statistical Commission, resigned, protesting the withholding of the Annual Survey on Employment and Unemployment for the year 2017-18.[44] A leaked version of the report showed unemployment rate in India at a 45-year high during 2017-2018.[45] Government has claimed that the report was not final.[46] But the acting chairperson that resigned has alleged that the government was suppressing the report.[47] A former chairman of the NSC, said, on condition of anonymity, that the report approved by the NSC would be the final version.[48]

On 7 February 2019, an estimated 30 thousand[49] youth protested the absence of jobs in the National Capital Region as part of a "Young India Adhikar" march.[50]

Alleged undermining of democratic institutions and processes

Opposition parties have claimed that the NDA government is destroying democratic institutions and processes.[51] The judiciary,[52][52] parliament,[52] media,[52] Reserve Bank of India,[53] Central Bureau of Investigation,[54][55] Right to Information Act[56][54] are claimed to have been undermined by the government. Opposition parties have campaigned heavily on this issue.[57]

Alleging a coup by the prime minister Narendra Modi and the BJP president Amit Shah in West Bengal,[58] the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee sat on a "Save the Constitution" dharna in Kolkata on 3 February 2019.[59] The Bharatiya Janata Party claimed that Mamata Banerjee sat on dharna to protect the corrupt.[60] Congress, Aam Aadmi Party, Telugu Desam Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Jammu & Kashmir National Conference, Makkal Needhi Maiam, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam expressed solidarity with Mamata Banerjee.[61] The standoff ended after Supreme Court of India verdict with both Trinamool Congress and the NDA government claiming victory.[62]

Ram temple

The BJP supports the building of a Ram temple on the disputed land in Ayodhya. It is seen that the party will campaign heavily on the issue during the election. It is viewed that prime minister Narendra Modi and the Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath are pushing for the construction of the Ram temple to garner the majority Hindu vote.[63][64][65]

Rafale deal

Opposition parties have alleged price escalations[66] and corporate favoritism[67] in Rafale aircraft deal. The NDA government has denied the allegations.[68]

The Supreme Court has dismissed public interest litigations on the Rafale deal and said that the processes were followed without any commercial favouritism to industrialist Anil Ambani, one of the beneficiaries of the deal.[69] However the judgement was riddled with factual errors about a nonexistent Comptroller and Auditor General report on the audit of the Rafale deal and a nonexistent report being examined by the Public Accounts Committee.[70][71] Congress , while not being a petitioner, has alleged that the NDA government misled the Supreme Court and raised questions about existence of the CAG report.[72] Government has claimed that it did not mislead the Supreme Court[73] but the Supreme Court misinterpreted statements made by government in sealed cover submitted by it.[74] The government has asked the Supreme Court to correct the error in its judgement.[75] A review petition on the Rafale deal deal judgement has been filed by the original petitioners on 2 January 2019.[76] The Aam Aadmi Party member of parliament moved the Supreme Court seeking a review of the verdict on 14 January 2019 .[77] Congress has been demanding a joint parliamentary committee to investigate the Rafale deal.[78][79]

Congress has heavily attacked prime minister Narendra Modi[80] and NDA government[81] on this issue in run up to the general election.

After fresh revelations in The Hindu, based on an official document about defence ministry protesting the prime minister`s role in conducting parallel negotiations and undermining the Rafale negotiations,[82] the Congress launched fresh attacks on prime minister Narendra Modi.[83] The defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman rejected all fresh claims made by Congress.[84] In another leaked document the former defence minister Manohar Parrikar replied to defence ministry note as over-reaction.[85] More questions were raised by Congress and Jammu & Kashmir National Conference about the former minister's reply to the defence ministry note.[86] Arvind Kejriwal of Aam Aadmi Party demanded a raid by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the Prime Minister's office in the light of fresh leaks.[87] Aam Aadmi Party also lodged a police compliant against the prime minister Narendra Modi.[87]

Citizenship amendment bill

The citizenship amendment bill brought to parliament plans to allow persecuted minorities of the countries born due to partition of British India (such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afganistan) into Indian citizenship.[88] The bill has led to political backlash in Assam and caused unrest in other parts of India's northeast, with protests by ethnic Assamese groups.[89] On 7 January 2019, 70 organizations across Assam observed "Disgust Day" and protested the bill.[90] On 29 January 2019, 10 Northeast India political parties and National Democratic Alliance ally Janata Dal (United) met in Assam and decided to oppose the bill.[91]

On 8 February 2019, Modi began a visit to three northeast states.[92] To protest against the bill, the All Assam Students Union raised slogans and raised black flags to prime minister Narendra Modi in Guwahati .[93] Due to protests, restrictions on assembly were imposed in Guwahati under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.[94] Asom Gana Parishad staged a march with torches.[93]

Alliances

Note : Data given below is just for certain states and not the entire country.

National Democratic Alliance

List of National Democratic Alliance candidates in the Indian general election, 2019

Party States contested Seats
Contested Won
Bharatiya Janata Party[95] Several states
Janata Dal (United)[95] Bihar 17
Shiromani Akali Dal[95] Punjab 10
Lok Janshakti Party[95] Bihar 6
Shiv Sena[96] Maharashtra 23
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam[97] Tamil Nadu
Pattali Makkal Katchi[97] Tamil Nadu 7
All India N.R. Congress Pondicherry 1
National Democratic Alliance543TBA

United Progressive Alliance

List of United Progressive Alliance candidates in the Indian general election, 2019

Party States contested Seats
Contested Won
Indian National Congress[98] Several states
Nationalist Congress Party[98] Several states 24
Jharkhand Mukti Morcha[99] Jharkhand 4
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)[99] Jharkhand 2
Rashtriya Janata Dal Bihar
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Tamil Nadu
Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Tamil Nadu
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi Tamil Nadu
Indian Union Muslim League Tamil Nadu 1
Kongunadu Makkal Desia Katchi Tamil Nadu 1
United Progressive Alliance543TBA

Mahagathbandhan

Party States contested Seats
Contested Won
Bahujan Samaj Party [9] Uttar Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh,Uttarakhand 68
Samajwadi Party[9] Uttar Pradesh,Madhya Pradesh,Uttarakhand 42
MahagathbandhanTBATBA

Opinion polling

In the run-up to the next Indian general election, various organisations will carry out opinion polling to gauge voting intentions in India. Results of such polls are displayed in this list. The date range for these opinion polls is from the previous general election, held in April and May 2014, to the present day.

Date published Polling agency Others Leadα Majority
NDA UPA
Feb 2019 VDP Associates 242 148 153 94 Hung
Jan 2019 Times Now-VMR 252 147 144 105 Hung
Jan 2019 Deccan Herald 160-175 180-200 160-180 5-40 Hung
Jan 2019 ABP News -Cvoter 233 167 143 66 Hung
Jan 2019 India Today -Karvy 237 166 140 67 Hung
Jan 2019 VDP Associates 225 167 150 58 Hung
Dec 2018 India Today 257 146 140 111 Hung
Dec 2018 ABP News - C Voter 247 171 125 76 Hung
Dec 2018 India TV - CNX 281 124 138 157 9
Nov 2018 ABP News - C Voter 261 119 163 142 Hung
Oct 2018 ABP News 276 112 155 164 4
Aug 2018 India Today- Karvy 281 122 140 159 9
May 2018 ABP News-CSDS 274 164 105 110 2
Jan 2018 Republic-CVoter 335 89 119 246 63
Jan 2018 India Today 309 102 132 207 37
Aug 2017 India Today 349 75 119 276 77
Jan 2017 India Today 370 60 123 310 98
Aug 2016 India Today 304 94 145 210 32
Feb 2016 India Today 286 110 147 176 14
Aug 2015 India Today 288 81 174 207 16
April–May 2014 General election results 336 60 113 276 64

See also

Notes

α.^ Only formally announced alliances used to calculate lead. Others / non allied parties not used in calculation.

References

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