Anti-incumbency trend gives hope to opposition ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha polls
Anti-incumbency trend gives hope to opposition ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha pollsBy Rakesh Mohan Chaturvedi, ET Bureau|May 17, 2018, 08.42 AM ISTNEW DELHI: A general disenchantment and mood for change of regime have been common factors in most of the Assembly elections since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the trend may continue in the states that go to polls before 2019.
The last Lok Sabha elections showed strong anti-incumbency against the Congress-led UPA-II government led by Manmohan Singh. A slew of scams from the 2G spectrum, coal block allocation and Commonwealth Games among others led to the people giving BJP a clear majority in the Lok Sabha in 2014.
The Delhi Assembly elections went against both the BJP and the Congress with Aam Admi Party getting 67 of the 70 seats.
The ruling Congress could not even open its account in the next Assembly. While most of the states where the ruling party was voted out had Congress in power and there was an anti-incumbency against the Grand Old Party, even BJP has been at the receiving end of the public ire.
Congress was voted out in several states, including Maharashtra, Haryana, Assam, Andhra Pradesh (polls held along with general elections in 2014), Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. The latest is Karnataka where BJP has emerged as the single largest party with Congress a distant second.
In Andhra Pradesh TDP defeated Congress and YSRCP. But in all the other states BJP was the winner. The saffron party has virtually no presence in Andhra Pradesh and was a coalition partner of TDP till two months ago.
Naveen Patnaik-led BJD in Odisha, and Mamta Banerjeeled Trinamool in West Bengal have bucked the trend and are among the exception to the rule.
Nitish Kumar managed to retain power in Bihar by stitching up an alliance with RJD in 2015.
This has led to speculation that BJP will face anti-incumbency in Rajasthan and if the trend continues it is likely to be voted out. BJP also faced strong antiincumbency in Gujarat after being in power for 22 years.
However, it managed to form a government with seven seats more than the half-way mark.
BJP is faced with a tough election even in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh but a lot would depend on how Congress fares in the two states. It would be a direct contest between the two parties in Rajasthan, Madhya Pr adesh and Chhattisgarh.
Similarly, in Jharkhand a united Congress-JMM combine can make it difficult for BJP in the next Assembly polls.
Though BJP is the strongest party at the national level and Narendra Modi remains the most popular leader, if the antiincumbency trend continues, the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 may not be a cakewalk for the ruling party.
A united opposition- provided it adopts a pragmatic approach and buries its differencesmay be difficult to overcome. The opposition is also hopeful that a brewing anti-incumbency in many of the 20 states where BJP is in power will also help it in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Read more onBJPAam Admi Partyanti incumbencyUnited oppositionCongressLok Sabha electionsLok Sabha elections 2019
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