The first list of 184 candidates from 20 states, announces by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday is like a blizzard on the face of a whippet, in this case, the Congress party.
While silly noises have been ratcheted up in the Congress camp on the sidelining of BJP patriarch L.K. Advani from Gandhinagar, they are being hard put to explain their lack of respect for Manmohan Singh who wasn’t put up as a candidate in three successive Lok Sabha elections—2004, 2009 and 2014. Nobody is even asking why the former Prime Minister has pulled out of 2019 contest. That he still has been a Rajya Sabha member since 1991 is another story for another day.
Smriti Irani is being projected as someone who would have her third successive defeat in Amethi though the fact is it would keep Rahul Gandhi grounded in his own bastion where little development is reported, unlike Varanasi which is shinning under a single spell of Prime Minister Narendra Modi thus far. Rahul Gandhi would be hard put to explain his record not just in his constituency but also in the Parliament: No question in five years in Parliament; No private member bill; only 14 debates when the national average is 67; only 52 per cent of attendance when the national average is 80 per cent.
The massive first list of BJP itself shows the scrambled-eggheads of Congress in poor light for its first two lists only have 12 and 5 candidates thus far and strategic alliances are quickly slipping like sand out of their grasp.
The pliant Lutyens Media is doing a good job in putting a photo of Priyanka Gandhi every day in its editions as a matter of shahadah of a devout Muslim but the poor crowd and “Modi, Modi” chant in her public appearances is secret to no-one but to them.
This Lutyens media goes to town when Congress strikes a pact with National Conference (NC) in Jammu and Kashmir and strives hard to hide the dichotomy of the two parties being rivals in half of the seats in the state.
The crumbling façade of Congress is evident in Karnataka itself where it had struck an unholy alliance with bitter enemy JD (S) just to be in power—three of its MLA who defected to BJP in recent days have been given tickets.
Umesh Jadhav will take on Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Malikarjun Kharge from Gulbarga. A. Manju and Devendrappa have been rewarded with tickets from Hassan and Bellary.
The boldness of BJP is apparent in that it has 21 present Union and ministers of state in the list, alongside the candidature of its party president, Amit Shah from Gandhinagar in Gujarat. It’s a confident stride in seeking a mandate on not just Modi but the entire Modi government. Contrast this with not just the Congress but others who are in anti-Modi mode: Mayawati won’t contest the 2019 Elections (even though she says she won’t mind being Prime Minister); and so do K Chandrashekhar Rao from Telangana. Sharad Pawar has already pulled out of contesting 2019 polls.
BJP’s aggressiveness is also evident in that it is fielding candidates from every seat in West Bengal and Kerala, the two states where Mamata Banerjee and Pinaryi Vijayan and their goons of TMC and CPI(M) have indulged in politics of hate, vendetta and killings.