Insight Delhi



With the possibility of defeat in the coming Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh looming large on the horizon, the #Narendra Modi dispensation may be considering early general elections to coincide with the State polls. That is, provided the idea of simultaneous national and state polls, which Mr. Narendra Modi and his party have been pushing vigorously, does not come through.

The BJP-led Government at the Centre has been pursuing the idea of One Nation-One Poll through various mechanisms such as the Niti Aayog and the Law Commission, apart from the Election Commission of India. These bodies have already held consultations with representatives of different political parties on the issue. But the response of major opposition parties including the main opposition, the Congress, has not been favourable. This leaves the BJP face to face with the possibility of going into next year’s Lok Sabha elections after suffering defeat in the Assembly elections in crucial states at the yearend.

The portents for the BJP from the Assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh are nothing to write home about. In two of the States, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh, the party is battling anti-incumbency after remaining in power for three terms, or a total of 15 years. In Rajasthan, where the BJP has been in power for only the last term, the party is facing tough opposition from a united Congress. The results of the recent Lok Sabha and Assembly by-elections in the State are a pointer towards that. The BJP had faced crushing defeat in a Lok Sabha constituency which it had won during the 2014 general elections with a margin of about two lakh votes.

Rather than go into the Lok Sabha elections after defeat in crucial state Assembly polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may find merit in plumping for dissolving the Lok Sabha and going in for general elections along with the state polls. The possibility of extending the tenure of the state Assemblies, which are completing their term by the end of the year, by a few months, so that elections in these states are held along with the Lok Sabha polls in the normal course, cannot also be ruled out.

What is certain is that the BJP will do its best to avoid going into general elections after facing defeat in crucial Assembly polls.