Prime Minister Narendra Modi Interview to Indian Express: It’s the last day of campaign for the penultimate phase of Lok Sabha elections 2019. Before he leaves 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, on May 10, for his first rally of the day in Rohtak, Haryana, Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks to RAVISH TIWARI and RAJ KAMAL JHA.
BJP president Amit Shah is keeping count: 96 rallies since polls were notified, he will cross his 100th this weekend. On April 19, en route to Gujarat, from where, he says, he’s seeking a public mandate to the ‘highest panchayat (Lok Sabha)’, he spoke with The Indian Express.
The choice of Sadhvi Pragya is an attempt by the BJP to consolidate its core Hindutva base by lending its support to a person it believes is the “victim” of the Congress-led UPA’s plot to script a narrative of “Hindu terror.”
Although “polarisation” remains their concern, Muslim respondents in Amroha, Bijnor, Nagina, Rampur, Moradabad and Sambhal cite demonetisation and GST impacting their immediate livelihood as reasons for their voting choice.
The doomsday scenario for BJP, projected by the BSP and SP citing their combined might, appears to be at variance with the situation on the ground after individual career-best performances in 2007 (BSP) and 2012 (SP).
“Didn’t they (BJP) form a government with Mehbooba Mufti in Kashmir? Didn’t they release the stone-pelters? Weren’t they the ones who released Masood Azhar in the past?” ask Raghunath Singh, a middle-aged farmer.
Arun Jaitley asserted that Modi stands out as a brand during the Lok Sabha elections because of “transformational” changes during the last five years that will prove to be “turning point” for the country.“
The omission of the recommendation of Sachar Committee in the manifesto this time is a tell-tale sign of the Congress's recalibration of its stance on the minorities issue in the backdrop of the ruling party's cultural nationalism politics.
"I am a member of the Sangh, but I was not brought by the Sangh. When L K Advani gave four names (for party chief), there was me, Manohar Parrikar, Modiji and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Shivraj was sent to Madhya Pradesh, Modiji said he wanted to concentrate on Gujarat and I was made the party chief."
Although the dynamics of Lok Sabha and Assembly polls differ, the votes polled in the 27 states since 2014 show that the BJP stayed ahead of the Congress, which gained in numbers but still came up behind its key rival.
BJP leaders present in Parliament House suggested that announcements related to farmers and middle-class would add to their talking points of the 10 per cent quota and the government’s readiness to release the land around the disputed Ayodhya site.