Indian politics has witnessed a sea change over the past couple of years. Many have come and gone but some have remained stone still for the past few decades. India has been plagued with a two party system since one can remember. The campaigning, last minute posters, banners, speeches, debates and what not. The Indian election is more than what it really is; for an average Indian, it is the time of the year when you’d hear an Arnab Goswami debating on the TV or a Times Of India paper bringing out it’s own manifesto. These things just spice up the already eccentric Indian elections.
India is divided into constituencies and there are 543 Lok Sabha seats that are more often than not keenly contested. This year though, the two mainstream parties- The United Progressive Alliance and the Bharatiya Janata Party are more or less equal in the number of contestants and as well as their credentials. The UPA are led by the young and energetic Rahul Gandhi while the BJP are led by the more aggressive and thought-provoked Narendra Modi.
The BJP have witnessed quite a few changes leading to the elections. Erstwhile leaders such as Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Bihari Vajpayee are mere onlookers this time around. Although LK Advani is still contesting, his role in the party which he carried on his shoulders has been reduced to that of a mere contestant and his once upon a time assistant- Narendra Modi has now come into the forefront of the BJP and is the face of the party.
The UPA on the other hand have had to deal with many problems in the past few years. The plethora of scams have dented their image considerably ahead of the General Elections. The credibility of the Congress in particular, this time around, is being questioned.
Let’s have a look at the constituencies where there is bound to be some competition at least.
UPA supremo Sonia Gandhi has been contesting from Rae Bareli for the past two elections and this time too she has gone back to her stronghold. While she didn’t have much of a competition the last time around, this time she faces the formidable Ajay Agarwal. Agarwal is clearly an underdog in this one but he can sure spice things up as the Supreme Court advocate is one who is sure not to make life easy for the erstwhile stateswoman.
If you thought that Rae Bareli was fiercely contested, well then look at Amethi. It’s a heads on clash between three of the biggies. The face of the UPA- Rahul Gandhi is going to contest along with television personality cum Rajya Sabha MP Smriti Irania. And just to make it worse for Rahul, Aam Aadmi Party’s Kumar Vishwas too is in the mix. Amethi and Rae Bareli have been a bastion for the UPA as they have been rather consistent in winning this constituency but it won’t be surprising if the younger Gandhi loses out this time.
If sources are true, then this will be the mother of all the battles this time around. The saffron party’s charismatic leader Narendra Modi is about to face Aam Aadmi Party’s very own Arvind Kejriwal. They are two versatile personalities but with one common agenda. Modi has had a stellar rise over the years and his skills with the mike are unparalleled. Kejriwal on the other hand is one who walks the walk and talks the talk. His career has been a see-saw affair with the dizzying heights of becoming the Chief Minister of Delhi to stepping down just three months later. Whether it’ll be the Lotus or the Broom, this is one constituency that is surely going to make headlines whatsoever.
We saw the hits.. Now let’s look at a few interesting things that this election brings to us.
Arun Jailtley is about to contest his first direct election this year. Jaitley has been sitting in the Upper House for quite a lot of time now and has been often criticised of escaping the Elections but he has now decided to take the bull by the horns. He is probably taking a cue from UPA stalwart Pranab Mukherjee who was in the Upper House for a good 29 years. Jaitley actually wanted to contest the 2009 elections but was wanted for party work.
P Chidambaram has decided to not contest the elections this time around. Mr.Chidambaram who has been elected to the Lok Sabha a whopping seven times from the Sivaganga constituency in Tamil Nadu has stepped aside and is probably passing the baton on to his son Karthi P Chidambaram. Karthi, who is the President of the All India Tennis Federation, is set to take over from where his father has left.
Lal Krishna Advani has been a monumental figure over the years in the BJP and it is sad to see that he has become just a mere onlooker on the day-to-day affairs of the party whose weight he shouldered for a long period of time. Advani let aside his own ambitions to become the Prime Minister so that Atal Bihari Vajpayee could become the Prime Minister. This year he wanted to contest from somewhere in Madhya Pradesh but the party had decided that it’d be better if he contested from Gandhinagar where he has been winning for the past 14 years,
The Indian elections has become a colossus of sorts. They always promise to bring out the best out of the people standing. With hardly a week to go before the elections, the campaigning is in full swing and we can just wait and watch until another of the Indian elections are completed.