Can defeat BJP Mahagathbandan in the 2019 elections

India before the elections: modes without a majority?

Polls hold the prospect of losses for the BJP alliance

On June 2, the legislative period of the Lok Sabha ("People's Assembly"), the First Chamber of the Indian Parliament, ends. Until then, new MPs must be elected. In order for this to go smoothly, observers assume that the elections will begin next month. The last ones took place between April 7th and May 12th, 2014.

In the polls from the last few months, the ruling alliance NDA ("National Democratic Alliance") has 225 to 261 seats in the lower house, which can hold up to 552 members, but it has lost the absolute majority it won in 2014. The NDA is led by the Hindu party Bharatiya Janata Parti, but consists of a total of 40 parties, eleven of which currently have at least one seat in the lower house. The most important of these are the Tamil regional party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), the Janata Dal (JD), which is mainly present in Bihar and Jharkhand, the Pandjab Sikh party Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Hindu regional party Shiv Sena from the Maharashtra state.

Cash devaluation and VAT reform

The other major alliance, the UPA ("United Progressive Alliance"), which according to the polls has a chance of 146 to 171 seats, is led by the Congress Party, which ruled before 2014. Of the 28 member parties of the UPA, seven currently have parliamentary seats, including the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), which split off in 1999 in the dispute over the then Congress Party leader Sonia Ghandi, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) from Bihar, the Tamil Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) from Kerala. Parties that do not belong to either of these two camps can count on 125 to 163 seats in the Indian multiethnic state with its majority suffrage and would thus tip the scales if the election goes as the polling institutes VDP, VMR, ABP and Karvy for keep possible. Twelve of these parties joined forces on January 19 to form the Mahagathbandhan alliance, which is supposed to form a "Third Front".

Prime Minister Narendra Modis BJP, which did relatively well in regional elections until 2017, suffered unexpected crashes last year in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh - two states where it was previously extremely strong. Possible causes for this include a quick cash devaluation (which, however, already took place in 2016 - see India: It continues to hit the little fish) and a somewhat successful VAT reform (see India: Modi's second big crash). .

Decent economic growth, Islamic extremism, arms corruption allegations and beef

At first glance, India's economic growth looks decent at 7.36 percent compared to Germany, but is slightly below the rates that Modi's previous governments achieved in the noughties. Although the gross domestic product as a total will soon exceed France's, it is much lower per capita - not least because the Indian birthrate has been much higher in recent decades.

The BJP was also not as successful as it was promised before the 2014 election in the fight against Islamic extremism (see India: Hand-hackers sentenced to prison terms). A coalition of the Hindu party with the moderate Muslim party JKPDP in Jammu and Kashmir, which came as a surprise to many observers, failed in 2018, and a terrorist attack by the Islamist JEM in this state in February led to a military conflict between India and Pakistan, of which it is still open whether it is Modi is more likely to harm or benefit. The purchase of French Rafale aircraft for the Indian Air Force (cf. Later success for a slacker), which did not get rid of the smell of corruption, rather hurt him.

The BJP's fight against beef made more headlines than the fight against violent Islamists. The religiously charged dispute concerned not only Muslims who complained about bullying by the authorities from restaurants and traders (cf. India: forced vegetarianism and "food fascism"), but also Dalits ("untouchables"), who are traditionally responsible for the removal of cow carcasses rotting on the streets (cf. India: strike of the "untouchables"). (Peter Mühlbauer)

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