Polarisation in India ahead of polls

Gautam Lahiri

4 April, 2019 12:00 AM printer

New Delhi: Indian general (Lok Sabha) polls are exposed to regional polarisation with ruling BJP hoping to bag most of the seats in south and Congress in the north.

Regional polarisation is getting intensified ahead of the polls scheduled to be held from April 11 to May 19.

All areas from Hindi speaking north to and nationalist south are exposed to the polarisation.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is more popular in the north while Congress president Rahul Gandhi in the south. 

Modi is sure to win his electoral race in Varanasi of Uttar Pradesh. Similarly, Rahul is expected to be the winner in Wayanad.

Although Modi is contesting the polls from one seat, Rahul is vying from two constituencies—- Wayanad and Amethi. In the previous polls, Modi also contested from Baroda of Gujarat. BJP president Amit Shah is contesting from Gahdhinagar of Gujarat. The seat was under the grip of BJP founding member Lal Krishna Advani for long. Babri Mosque case accused Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti and Vinay Katiyar all have been denied nomination in the upcoming polls.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said all southern states wanted to have Rahul as a candidate for the upcoming polls.

Following the request, Rahul will submit his nomination paper today (Thursday). This is a place where Indira Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao preferred their candidature. Chikmagalur in Karnataka was the constituency that elected Indira Gandhi in a by-election in 1978 after she lost the 1977 election in Rae Bareli, thereby paving the way for her eventual return to power in 1980. Rajiv Gandhi, India’s 6th prime minister, was assassinated on 21 May 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. It is another reason why people of the south are sympathetic to the Gandhi family.

BJP gets most of the 170 seats in Hindi speaking north. The party may lose some stets, but the party is expected to register lead over political rivals in the region.

 On the other hand, Congress is aiming to get most of the 121 seats southern Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Andaman and Lakshadweep. Congress is trying to get all seats of south even by forging an alliance.