Post 20thJuly, 2018 no confidence motion in parliament, it appears battlelines for 2019 general election have been drawn. Incumbent prime minister will defend his seat on the plank of development. Challenger/s will evoke lack of inclusiveness in Indian society, increase in incidence of communal polarisation, and need for a kinder, gentler society that takes care of its weakest.
As India develops economically, when people have jobs, as people get a roof over their head, as Indian society becomes prosperous, many problems of caste and religious violence, will be solved. Following philosophy of antodaya, BJP has tried to reach out to the last man at the base of social pyramid, without discriminating on the basis of religion, caste and creed.
Test of this idea will be known if prime minister Modi wins a second term. It will be known if people friendly schemes have reached actual beneficiaries or not :
- zero balance bank account,
- direct benefit transfer to account,
- free gas cylinder to BPL families,
- health insurance policy,
- rural electrification,
- housing scheme for poor;
- easy loan to start business;
- crop insurance policy;
- minimum support price for farmers,
- implemented one rank one pension for defence personnel, etc.
Government has pushed through a lot of other indirect development oriented schemes like boosting rail and road connectivity etc. Will such direct and indirect deliverables fetch ruling party vote, only time will say. Ruling party is aware that minority community will unlikely to vote for the party. Nevertheless, government has claimed that benefits have been distributed without discrimination along caste and religious lines.
Core vote base of ruling party, the business community and middle class, has been angry. Demonitisation and GST has affected many small and large business. Middle class is burdened with tax, much of which is directly taken out of their salary, and high fuel price. Ruling BJP, indeed, has taken a risk by consciously targeting the bottom of the Indian social pyramid. The underprivileged, the voiceless, the poorest of the poor. If the party can harness the vote of innumerable poor, deprived people living in the fringe of society, it can win 2019 and many elections beyond that.