With govt pitching for simultaneous polls; opposition’s not around to this idea yet
With the President Ram Nath Kovind stressing that simultaneous polls may be the need of the hour, the opposition is not buying the logic as yet or so it seems.
The opposition has reasons to fear that such an exercise might further allow the ruling BJP to make the entire exercise a presidential-style campaign and easily overcome incumbency.
It need be mentioned that former Union Minister P Chidambaram too has pointed to certain hurdles because of the simultaneous polls.
BJP leaders have pointed out that the next Lok Sabha election is going to be a referendum on Modi and the NDA government, irrespective of whether it is clubbed with state polls.
They also point out that local issues cannot be swept away and parties like Biju Janata Dal have succeeded even though the Odisha electoral cycle is tied in with the national election.
The opposition, wary of the PM’s capacity to campaign hard and relentlessly attack his rivals, is concerned that simultaneous elections will make Modi’s poll pitch more effective.
If he has to campaign separately for assembly elections in Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh before the Lok Sabha election, issues would be more clearly related to local aspirations and disappointments.
BJP is keen to avoid the crash and burn of 2004 when the decision to call early polls went badly wrong. But the possibility remains alive as BJP under Modi has shown the ability to keep its opponents off balance.>