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Simultaneous elections

As the Lok Sabha election of 2019 approaches, political parties sharpen their strategies. Regional players who enjoyed considerable clout in the long years of coalition rule in the Centre, would start weighing their options.
Modi and the BJP tellingly exploited the anti-Congress mood in the 2014 elections and romped to power with a comfortable majority. The Congress stood decimated with just 44 seats and its leader couldn’t even lay claim to the office of leader of the opposition. In the elections to several states that followed, the BJP won comfortably, albeit a couple of odd losses.
Much of Prime Minister Modi’s energies have been spent campaigning for the elections coming in a continuous stream.
The prime minister also focusses on building closer relations with other countries in different regions. This focus has given rich dividends and is exemplified by India scoring over Britain in the fight for a post in International Court of Justice: logically this should extend to India getting elected as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
The coming few months would demand BJP’s focused attention on winning the elections in several states including a few in the northeast, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh.
The anti-incumbency factor will be significant: in successive elections, the BJP had won the three Hindi states beating the anti-incumbency factor. Recent by-elections to the two Lok Sabha seats point to the Congress gaining ground in Rajasthan.
Shiv Sena and Telugu Desam, allies in the NDA-2 government, have issues to settle with the BJP. The former is still smarting under the loss of its clout and lead to the BJP in the Maharashtra state elections. Though part of the governments both in Maharashtra and New Delhi, the Shiv Sena has no qualms in announcing its plan to fight the Lok Sabha election on its own. This plan will lead to a split in votes which can benefit the Congress and NCP.
The division of the Andhra Pradesh into Telangana and a truncated New Andhra has left the latter with a severe financial crunch. As a partner of NDA 2 coalition, TDP has been extending support to the Centre, but with the impending Lok Sabha elections, TDP has been raising its voice more stridently demanding more funds for AP.
The Centre itself suffering a resource constraint, is unable to provide allocations to AP. The TDP has resorted to the old practice of disrupting parliamentary proceedings.
These developments are bound to impact BJP on the task of building alliances for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
IE has been supportive of simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies at fixed intervals of five years. Apart from saving costs, such a practice will have a positive impact on governance.

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