The BJP No Longer Looks Invincible in 2019 Indian Elections

2018 assembly elections result

The taking of centre-stage by the Congress president is likely to turn the 2019 general election into a presidential-style contest between him and Narendra Modi.

The Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has suffered a huge setback since it has lost all five states that recently went to the polls to elect new legislative assemblies.

"Even though we don't agree with many of Congress' policies, we have agreed to support them in Madhya Pradesh, and if need be in Rajasthan", Mayawati said at a press conference.

The Congress party registered a massive comeback in the Hindi heartland after the assembly elections 2018.

Three other TV channels also said Congress was leading in the three states, with regional parties leading in two smaller states that also voted, Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

Elsewhere, the TRS has retained Telangana by a big margin, while the Mizo National Front has trounced the ruling Congress in Mizoram. Even as the Congress won the state, the BJP, to the poll pundits' surprise, put up a hard fight in Rajasthan.

Congress won by a landslide in the central state of Chhattisgarh, which has been ruled by the BJP for three consecutive terms.

In Madhya Pradesh, the most important of the five states that held assembly elections over the past few weeks, Congress was ahead, with 112 of 230 seats.

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Does this spell trouble for Modi? Up until last Tuesday, the BJP would have looked forward to such an unequal fight, in its view, between Pappu and the party's hero with his macho image.

What remains abundantly clear is that the 2019 general elections will be a referendum on Mr Modi.

Election in the Ramgarh constituency was countermanded due to the death of BSP candidate Laxman Singh. If indeed this is a referendum, the results are a wake-up call to the Modi government.

Along with Scindia, Nath, 72, was tasked with reviving the fortunes of the opposition Congress in Madhya Pradesh, where the party has been out of power since 2003 and had to face a BJP onslaught in the final days of electioneering.

"We forgot the issue of development that Modi took up in 2014", said Sanjay Kakade.

"A disappointing set of state election results. suggests that the ruling national party has lost some goodwill", London-based economic research consultancy, Capital Economics, said in a note. The Indian prime minister will have to cover a lot of ground now. The BJP's stridently majoritarian politics, critics say, has fanned hate and left the country deeply divided.

"There is a feeling among people that the promises made by the prime minister. have not been fulfilled".

The demonetization from November 2016, led to the banning of an estimated 86 percent of the currency in circulation.

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