Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With over 150 seats in the Lok Sabha where a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP is expected, the ruling party can rely on Modi’s popularity for a comfortable lead in the 2019 polls. Photo: Reuters
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. With over 150 seats in the Lok Sabha where a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP is expected, the ruling party can rely on Modi’s popularity for a comfortable lead in the 2019 polls. Photo: Reuters

Retaining Rajasthan, MP, Chhattisgarh is key for Modi

The outcome of the election in five states will be a key test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after four years of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule at the Centre.

New Delhi: Counting began for five states on Tuesday. Among all political stakeholders, the outcome is most significant for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP. Tuesday’s result could give a peek into whether the electoral momentum is in the favour or against BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The outcome of the election in five states will be a key test for the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi after four years of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule at the Centre. If it performs well, the PM’s authority and BJP president Amit Shah’s control over the organisation will strengthen further.

If there is a favourable performance against arch-rival Congress party, it will yet again confirm that the BJP has an upper hand in electoral politics. With over 150 seats in the Lok Sabha where a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP is expected, the ruling party can rely on Modi’s popularity for a comfortable lead in the 2019 polls.

The road to the 2019 general elections becomes easier as BJP had won 62 out of the total 65 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh in the 2014 polls. The cushion of these three states will help the BJP concentrate on Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where an opposition alliance is taking shape.

In the last one year, the BJP has lost Karnataka and had a face-saving victory in Modi’s home state Gujarat and hence the performance in the three BJP-ruled states where counting is on will be crucial to maintaining the electoral run.

The NDA has managed to win nine states in a direct contest with the Congress since 2014. Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh are the final electoral battle against the Congress before the 2019 general elections.

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