Lok Sabha elections 2019 are less than a year away. Most likely the general elections will be held in April or May next year when the country will vote to elect will the seventeenth Lok Sabha.
In the run-up to the upcoming general elections, many opinion polls have predicted a good show by the BJP-led NDA in 2019, a fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party would love to replicate on the ground.
However, series of defeats in Lok Sabha by polls since 2014 is certainly a cause of worry for the BJP. Failing to hold onto its citadels - Gorakhpur, Kairana ( both in Uttar Pradesh) has hurt the party most.
Bypoll in Gorakhpur, UP CM Yogi Adityanath's home constituency, was held on March 11. The election was necessitated after Adityanath was picked for the CM post by the BJP high command.
Result: The Samajwadi Party candidate Pravin Kumar Nishad won the election with 4,56,513 votes in his favour. He defeated BJP candidate Upendra Dutt Shukla. The outcome was seen as a huge blow to the popularity of Yogi Adityanath.
Similarly, bypoll was held in Pulpit after O Keshav Prasad Maurya was picked to be Adityanath's deputy. The Samajwadi Party won Phulpur seat too. SP candidate Nagendra Pratap Singh Patel won the election with 3,42,922 votes defeating BJP's Kaushalendra Singh Patel.
In Bihar too, the BJP was disappointed as the RJD emerged victorious on the Araria seat.
And recently, the BJP also lost the politically significant Kairana Lok Sabha seat where Rashtriya Lok Dal candidate Tabassum Hasan defeated BJP's Mriganka Singh. For the BJP, the only solace was the victory Palghar seat in Maharashtra.
Damodar Shingda, Congress candidate in the Palghar, lost his security deposit as he failed to secure the minimum six per cent of total votes polled, an election official said, reported PTI. The total number of votes cast in Palghar was 8,69,985. "Six per cent of total votes is 52,199. Shingda got only 47,714 votes," the election official said, reported the news agency.
As per rules, a contesting candidate has to get a minimum six percent of the votes cast to save the deposit.
These victories have given a big boost to the opposition unity.
WATCH VIDEO: Will 2019 Lok Sabha elections be battle between Modi and united opposition?
Does BJP need to worry?
Although the BJP can still boast of public support, the defeats have certainly brought the party strategists to the thinking table.
PM Modi, by far, remains the most popular leader. People see him as a leader who can take tough decisions which have far reaching results.s still the favourite. Demonetization, surgical strike and implementation of GST are a few moves that have taken Modi to a different level when compared to any present day national leader.
Modi vs rest
The recent developments show that it will a "PM Modi vs the rest" battle in 2019. The combined opposition will try to ride on anti-incumbency wave while the BJP will count on Modi magic.The 2019 battle will be one of the most closely contested we have seen in the recent past. Be prepared for an engaging political battle next summer.
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