The election scene is fast changing with the two major political parties -- BJP and Congress -- trying to outsmart each other in making promises and announcing unique and feasible schemes.
While BJP is banking on its recent air attacks carried out in Pakistan after Pulwama, the Congress refused to retreat on Rafale deal allegations. When BJP decided to pocket money directly in the hands of small farmers at Rs.6,000 per annum, Congress has announced its flagship scheme assuring Rs.6,000 per month for the poor people, assuring them a minimum income guarantee of Rs.12,000 every month.
Amid all these moves and counter moves, IANS and CVoter pre-poll survey shows that the BJP-led NDA is likely to win 300 seats as it may garner 42 per cent of the vote nationally, while the Congress-led UPA may get 30.4 per cent. The opinion poll, based on a sample survey of 10,280 people last week, and a cumulative base of 70,000 respondents since January 1 in all Lok Sabha constituencies, has failed to capture the latest developments.
Soon, there will be another survey that might support Congress-led UPA giving them more than 300 seats since vote bank politics are changing faster than expected and the message is reaching all people instantly.
Ironic but soon after Rahul Gandhi announced his party's minimum income guarantee scheme, the hue and cry over its feasibility has kept BJP busy on all TV screens throughout the day that it has helped Congress indirectly to pass on its message to all people, via BJP platform. The voter has a choice to make now -- nationalism or livelihood.
The BJP's narrative on nationalism has gripped the people for over a month but what Rahul Gandhi announced on Monday, March 25, 2019, is going to take the sheen away from BJP as it involves more than 5 crore beneficiaries who are poor people, most of them in the northern states, seen as traditional poll bastions for BJP. A populist measure by any means, but Congress won in 2004 on similar promises to waive off farmer loans and many pro-poor schemes.
In fact, any opinion poll conducted this week may easily throw up different results.
Since both BJP and Congress cannot win on their own, alliances may replace the individual party prospects. Though BJP-led NDA is stable, the Congress-led UPA is showing the signs of a weak alliance but its potential to come together in a flash once the election results are out, is anybody's guess. Their common stand is to keep BJP away, while Congress remains more an acceptable partner for many of these regional parties in key states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
So, 2019 elections are gaining momentum and likely to project interesting results.