Final count may take time, but t is clear that Bhartiya Janata Party and prime Minister Narendra Mondi is set for another term of five years as they are set to get the same number of seats as in 2014 elections. The Congress party position looks the same as in 2014, though they may be able to bag the position of leader of opposition position by winning ten per cent of the total seats.
The BJP lost few seats with Smamajwadi party and Bahujan Samaj Party joining hands in Uttar Pradesh, but they have made up the same by gains in West Bengal and Orissa . As for Northern belt the score remains nearly same as in 2014. The Congress gains in Assembly elections did not hold in case of Lok Sabha poll. The near sweep in case of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh showed that voters made a different choice between Assembly poll and Lok Sabha poll.
In all BJP vote share increased particularly in case of Eastern States of West Bengal, Orissa and Assam. Congress vote share also increased but it was not enough to give them more seats. The only states where they are likely to make gains are Tamilnadu, Kerala and Punjab. With BJP touching their target of 350 with their allies there will be lot of pressure to pursue the hard core Hindutav agenda. There will not be like of Yogi Adityanath , but also Sadhvi Paragya.
With economic situation continuing to be difficult, it will be difficult to make any progress in GDP numbers or on employment front as such there will be greater stress on nationalism and consolidation of Hindu vote bank. As indicated in Western media, a communal divide in India will become stronger and pressure will grow to take up controversial agenda like building of temple at Ayodhya, abolition of article 370 giving special status to Jammu & Kashmir and a common civil law will grow.
The attack on national institutions which was seen during present term of NDA may grow as the ruling party looks like eliminating all distinctions between policies of the party and national policies. A divided country in which many will see a danger to democracy will not help in recovery of Indian economy, though stock markets are booming. Prime Minister Modi who looked like a reformer and one seeking “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” in 2014 is now being viewed with suspicion by Western media who are disturbed by Communal divide and threat to democracy.
Let us hope Indian commitment to democracy will remain strong and Institutions like media, judiciary and Election Commission will live up to there commitments to Indian constitutions. Despite fears expressed in many quarters, I am sure India will not give up democracy having found its benefits for seventy years and will resist any attempt to erode the sae. As for Congress Party it will have to try harder to join hands with other opposition parties. Lesson is clear divided they fall, united they have a chance.
(Brij Bhardwaj is a veteran journalist and commentator)