BJP ON A ROLL!
Narendra Modi’s 2019 dream may take hit if SP, BSP tie up in UP; NDA invincible in north, central India, says survey
Prime Minister Narendra Modi still enjoys 42 percent popularity in India ahead of the 2019 elections but a clear majority may evade him if a Bahujan Samaj Pary and Samajwadi Party alliance materialises, results from a recently conducted opinion poll suggests.
According to the ABP News-CVoter survey, if the SP-BSP-RLD alliance fails to become a reality before the 2019 Lok Saba polls, the NDA will come to power with 291 seats, 19 more than required. The two regional parties will be limited to two to four seats each, whereas 72 seats will go to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
However, if the alliance between the two works out, NDA will be reduced to 247 seats in the 543-member Lok Sabha, 25 short of a clear majority. Out of the total 80 members the Hindi heartland state sends to Lok Sabha, 50 will be from the SP-BSP combine along with Ajit Singh’s Rashtriya Lok Dal; NDA will be restricted to 28 seats as compared to 71 sets to 2014. The Congress will only manage to win two seats.
The survey results have already propped BJP allies on a higher plank for seat negotiations. Ashish Patel of the Apna Dal, an NDA ally said, “State BJP leadership isn’t giving us the respect we deserve, they should learn from recent losses. The SP-BSP alliance is a challenge for us and allies in UP are upset. The leadership at Centre must do something, otherwise NDA would suffer in Uttar Pradesh.”
Meanwhile, another state that the BJP should watch out for is Maharashtra.
In Maharashtra, if the BJP fails to iron out differences with the Shiv Sena it may face severe losses in the state. If Shiv Sena decides to stick to its decision to contest the Lok Sabha polls separately, and the Congress allies with the NCP then the UPA will win 30 out of 48 seats while the NDA may get only 18.
The survey, however, predicted windfall returns for the saffron party in other North Indian states.
The recent defeat in Assembly polls does not seem to dampen BJP’s prospects in the Lok Sabha. The survey suggests that the NDA will win 47 seats in the three seats it recently lost to Congress, while the UPA will only manage 18 seats from Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh combined.
In Bihar, if polls were to be conducted today, the JD(U), BJP and LJP combined will bag 35 out of the 40 seats, whereas the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led Mahagathbandhan will be restricted to a meager five seats.
In Odisha, Modi-led BJP is likely to get a big win against the Biju Janata Dal. According to the survey, the saffron party is likely to win 16 out of the 21 seats while Naveen Patnaik’s regional force BJD will be reduced to only six seats.
Similarly, in Modi’s home state Gujarat, the BJP will win all but two Lok Sabha seats in the state. If the survey’s predictions are to be believed, BJP will win 24 of the 26 seats while the Congress-led alliance will only get 2 seats.
A previous survey conducted by the same channel also predicted an upper hand for the BJP. A survey published in October said that the NDA will win with a clear majority of 276 seats in the Lok Sabha elections; the UPA will win 112 seats. The vote share of NDA and UPA will be 38 percent and 25 percent respectively, the survey predicted.
BJP’s Eknath Khadse considering Congress offer? Senior Maharashtra leader says no party symbol stamped on him forever
Senior BJP leader Eknath Khadse, who had earlier reiterated that the saffron party was “his family”, sung a different tune on Wednesday when he hinted at an exit from the outfit. In a Leva Patil community function at Bhusawal in Maharashtra, the former revenue minister said that no one has a permanent stamp of any party and no one should take this for granted, India Today reported. Khadse hails from the Leva Patil community and Bhusawal is his stronghold.
His statement also gains importance as Congress has openly invited him to join the party more than once.
Congress MP Ulhas Patil was also present at the function and he invited Khadse to join his party at the event. Patil also said how “great injustice” has been done to Khadse. Earlier, Maharashtra Congress chief Ashok Chavan had also invited Khadse to join the party in January, 2018.
“There is no alternative to staying united. Politics has to be set aside while carrying on the struggle of life. Whether it is my party (BJP) or his (Congress), no one has a permanent stamp which makes him stay in the same party….no one can predict that…do not take that for granted,” said Khadse as he spoke at the function.
Land scam and resignation
Khadse, who was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, had to resign in 2016 following allegations of corruption and impropriety in Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation in Pune. Subsequently, he had also been attacked by BJP’s ally Shiv Sena.
In January this year, the sulking leader alleged that he was being forced to quit the party by some of his party colleagues and dared the government to prove his involvement in any wrong-doing. “If I have done anything wrong, the government should prove it and bring it out before people. I need an answer now. I don’t wish to leave the party, however, some people are trying to push me out,” Khadse had said, speaking at an event in Jalgaon, his hometown. He had spoken in the presence of Chavan, who had said that Congress was ready to welcome him and not wait till “the BJP ousts him”.
Khadse had been awaiting political rehabilitation ever since. He was also kept out of the recently-held state municipal polls in Jalgaon and Dhule, which are his turfs.
Quashing of Khadse’s FIR against activist Anjali Damania
Khadse has lodged an FIR against anti-corruption activist Anjali Damania for allegedly maligning his image by submitting “false affidavits” in a PIL filed against him in the Bombay High Court. He had alleged that Damania had misguided the HC by furnishing “false proofs”.
“When I received the copy of the PIL filed against me, I was shocked to see that she had shown two cheques worth crores as having issued by me. My signature had been forged and other documents produced in the court too had been forged,” the senior BJP leader had said.
On November 20, 2018, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, however, quashed Khadse’s FIR.