Indian elections 2014: Who will win?
There couldn’t have been a worse run-up to the 2014 general elections in India. As soon as dates for the polling schedule were announced, the world’s largest democracy witnessed many street clashes and stone pelting between members of the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in various cities.
Violence broke out after the police detained AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal during his campaign in Narendra Modi’s territory, Gujarat. The clashes of wooden sticks with jharoos (brooms) were symbolically evident. In New Delhi, the police had to use water cannons on the protesters. The situation went from bad to worse in no time.
The Indian National Congress (INC)
The ruling INC, which won a comfortable majority with the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in the previous elections, is being seen as the weakest candidate this time around. The country has evidently been gripped by the ‘Namo’ fever.
The INC has withered away in Andhra Pradesh on account of a political split. Charges of corruption, indecisiveness, weak leadership and bad state of economy have created a huge anti-incumbent atmosphere. They have also lost their alliances in the state of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP)
While the BJP, which gained a majority in three states during the recent state assembly elections, seems confident during public addresses, the party is unable to handle its own senior members and their frustration against the rise of Namo – who is supposedly running a one-man show.
Internal bickering is still rampant in the BJP offices. The BJP, which came to power in the state of Bihar during the previous elections, suffered a setback when its major alliance parted ways with them. In Karnataka, the party is still reeling under internal imbalances.
The instability of these major players has given regional and smaller parties an opportunity to form a Third Front. This idea has been tried in India a few times before. However, presently, no single party in the Third Front is capable of winning a reasonable number of seats in the parliament to form a government.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
The emergence of the AAP in Delhi has already produced shockwaves within BJP and INC in Delhi’s recent state elections. Though the party barely lasted for 50 days – with outside support from INC – AAP still has the potential to be the party that spoils election figures for key players, like the BJP.
These elections, due to their uncertainty, have the potential to let smaller, less popular parties have their say too. To win, a party would need to have 272 seats in the Lok Sabha, and keeping the statistics in mind, the possibility of a coalition is also very real.
For a 21-year-old young enthusiast like myself, and many others around me, it is going to be interesting how these parties try and influence the minds of a tech-savvy generation that is ready to bash them immediately on social media for any mistakes they make.
We are tired of both the INC and the BJP, where one party is engulfed in corruption charges and doesn’t have any credibility whereas the other is too busy promoting the ideology of one man over other party members. It is also a risk to choose BJP because of their communal ideology.
Amidst all this, the Kejriwal-led AAP seems to provide the perfect model of a revolutionary party, with its hard hitting stance on anti-corruption. The party also bears an image of secularism, which might attract young and educated people into the fray. The AAP mellowed itself down when Kejriwal had to resign as the chief minister of Delhi, within 50 days of coming to power. This clearly did not do well among many of his supporters.
However, he has ricocheted back into the game, as his party has fielded some famous and visionary leaders for the general elections. Also, with Kejriwal standing against Modi, no one can predict who will actually win.
India is in desperate need for change right now. Though it is tough to predict which party will gain maximum seats, one fact that remains without doubt is that the political trend has to change.
This is going to be one of the most uncertain elections ever but we have tried and tested all these old parties, it is time for us to give fresh faces a chance.
Vote for change, India!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.