By Nitya Chakraborty
The stage is set for the next Lok Sabha elections in India within 2018. The way the country’s economic and political situation is developing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cannot take the risk of waiting till the scheduled period of April/May 2019 for holding the Lok Sabha elections. All studies prepared by the BJP think tanks have indicated that the situation is changing very fast against the BJP and the more time is given to the opposition, the BJP will be loser.After the drubbing at theby elections in Rajasthan, reports from Madhya Pradesh about the political mood in the current by elections campaign, have also given signal that the Modi wave is fast waning and the Congress organization is consolidating quite fast under the leadership of the President Rahul Gandhi.
A latest study prepared by a leading BJP think tank is creating waves in the BJP leadership.The studysays that the BJP should go for Lok Sabha elections in April/May 2018 to get the best possible results in the next fifteen months before the scheduled elections in May 2019.The findings madeby the person who played a leading role in the BJP’s mission 272 before 2014 Lok Saba elections, point out that if the general elections are held in April/May 2018, the BJP get around 220 seats on its own and will be in the best position to bargain as the largest single party with the other parties for forming a coalition government.
According to the analysis made in this study, the BJP’s Lok Sabha seats will come down to 217 from the present strength of 282 if the elections are held in December 2018 and if the elections are held in May 2019, the BJP seats will be much below 200.This scenario projected for May 2019 makes it impossible for the BJP to make any successful bid for forming a coalition government led by it.That is why serious discussions are on at the highest level of the Parivar leadership as to which is the best time for getting maximum advantage for BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. The option is now limited to May 2018 and November 2018 as all studies of BJP think tanks rule out the scheduled Lok Sabha poll as conducive to BJP’s electoral fortunes.
Despite the big hype being created by the Modi government about the pro-people character of the 2018-19 budget, it is being increasingly becoming clear to the people that both the farmers bonanza and the so called world’s largest health protection scheme are big frauds and both these will have little impact in the present year on the concerned people.As regards the health insurance, it is the scheme for the insurance companies and the private hospitals. The private sector will make a hay at government funds without bringing any relief to the poor people for whom the scheme is meant.It is not clear whether the centre took consent of the state governments before finalising that the states will fund 40 per cent of the cost. The states have their own schemes and those are government sponsored. The state governments of non-BJP states may not agree to fund a scheme where the major responsibility is with the private companies.
There is every possibility that the Centre’s present Rashtriya Bima Yojana (RBY) will be immobilized while the new coverage will not take place.It will be total chaos in public healthcare during the current year and the Modi government has no ready plan to implement such an ambitious programme. Many of the state governments like West Bengal, Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh have introduced highly effective healthcare programmes for the poor. These programmes could have been supplemented by the centre through its own Govt funded schemes rather the depending on the massive coverage of people through health insurance and private hospitals.
The opposition parties have to take full advantage of this utter failure of the NDA government in dealing with the farmers and healthcare issues.The two Communist Parties-the CPI and the CPI(M) have a big responsibility in working for forging unity of action of all those forces who are now positioned against the NDA government.The CPI(M) ‘s former general secretary Prakash Karat in his recent article in the party weekly “ Peoples Democracy” has given a signal to come closer to the line of the Party general secretary Sitaram Yechury. Karat writes “Interest and concern about political line to be adopted by the CPI(M) stems from the widespread desire of secular and democratic minded people that an effective unity be forged to take on the BJP.The political-tactical line that the Party Congresswill adopt will meet this concern.Based on the political line, the Party will adopt concrete election tactics for the forthcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections”.
This is certainly an advance from his position at the last central committee meeting of the Party in January this year.It will be a great day for the Left if the CPI(M) party congress at Hyderabad in April this year adopts a flexible electoral line which keeps option open for the alliance of all anti-BJP forces in the elections through both formal and informal understanding.In fact, the CPI and the CPI(M) Party Congresses in April should adopt a clear road map for the unification of the two communist parties.This will give a give boost to the process of consolidation of the left forces.The Left consolidation should be followed by the understanding of the left with the regional parties.This combined strength of the non-BJP and non-Congress opposition can have a dialogue with theCongress for forming a programme based anti-BJP front which will take on the saffrons in the coming elections.(IPA Service)