Cong’s resurgence: A huge challenge for Modi in 2019

Kashmir Magazine

The comeback of Congress party in three states of Hindi heartland has finally stopped the saffron surge in India and 2019 big poll battle is now a huge challenge for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

As Congress under the leadership of party president Rahul Gandhi outsmarted BJP under the leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi in a straight fight in all the three states Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chatisgarh the message has gone loud and clear that Rahul Gandhi has emerged as the Prime Ministerial candidate of the grand alliance already taking shape in Delhi.

The defeat to BJP and victory of Congress in three states of Hindi heartland has come as a shocker and a blow to the BJP itself and its cohorts in Jammu and Kashmir where the saffron party was trying to sideline two largest mainstream political parties National Conference (NC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi had deserted PDP headed by Mehbooba Mufti in June this year when it pulled out of the Mehbooba led coalition government and Governor’s rule was imposed in the state. Imposition of Governor’s rule was followed by the appointment of a new Governor who is himself affiliated to BJP.

Governor took some extra constitutional decisions to force NC and PDP to boycott civic polls over legal challenge to Article 35A in the Supreme Court and amended the state municipal act to clear the decks for the appointment of a handpicked political defector Junaid Azim Matoo as chairman Municipal Corporation and stalled the attempt of NC, PDP and Congress for government formation in the state just to disallow them to work on an agenda for safeguarding the Article 35-A presently challenged by the cohorts of saffron party in the Supreme Court of India.

The victory of Congress in three states of Hindi heartland has not only stopped saffron surge in India but it would surely change the tide of electoral politics in Jammu and Kashmir particularly in Jammu region where the BJP found itself in a commanding position despite poor showing of its ministers in the Mehbooba led coalition government.

BJP had now started engineering defections for formation of a third regional force against NC and PDP in Jammu and Kashmir but the results of three states would surely change the scenario of political realignments in Jammu and Kashmir.

While National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah has termed the election results in three states as outright rejection of communal forces and revival of secular politics in the country, the PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti has termed it as rejection of Mandir-Masjid politics.

The remarks of Abdullah and Mehbooba show that both NC and PDP are encouraged by the defeat of BJP and the revival of Congress in three states of Hindi heartland.