The election schedules have been announced and May 23, 2019 is the D-day or Democracy Day which will determine whether Narendra Modi will get a 2nd term as the Prime Minister of India. As things go the writing on the wall earlier to Pulwama was a bit dicey with the BJP & NDA unlikely to get a majority but now with the nationalism issue being whipped up in the wake of the terror attack the BJP/NDA combine may just about tip the scales. But nonetheless the BJP/NDA seat count in the Lok Sabha may still not cross 245.
We will see the campaign trail becoming shriller and shriller as the summer starts settling in across India. Already the ad campaigns in the newspapers have been seen which are tall on claims but short on credibility. This was explained by the senior leaders of the BJP who had said that at election times they say things which they rarely mean and that the BJP had not expected to win the 2014 elections and that is why Narendra Modi had promised to transfer Rs 15 Lakhs into each citizen's bank account after bringing back black money that was stashed abroad. The main issues a stuttering economy, creation of jobs and farmers problems are tended to be avoided and in fact hidden so that no one brings it up. But with these issues hurting the people, they will not be forgotten come voting time.
One cannot disagree that this government fights shy of taking decisions. Like in the instance of the air strikes against Pakistan post the Pulwama blast. It has created a political uproar in India which had happened even earlier after the army's surgical strike. The reasons for this are obvious. The first thing is that it is a new toy in the hands of the incumbent government and they are thrilled with it. The second thing is that such political will in military action was not shown earlier since 1971 when Indira Gandhi asked the army to move into erstwhile East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. But this bravado may be misplaced and that of the uneducated, the ill informed and those who cannot anticipate the repercussions of their actions. We have seen this in the case of the demonetisation and GST implementation exercises and also in the mission to push card use in place of cash without having the infrastructure for it. These have led to massive dislocation in people's lives across the nation which people may not forget easily.
Then there is the tendency to hide information that is inconvenient to them like the recent jobs report indicating joblessness to be at a four decade high. The job issue is what affects people directly and it is foolish to hide it. The people will perceive as if they are being mocked. This is not the first time and we have seen this in the past with the economic indices and then the GDP figures where there has been a tendency to manage the figures to show the present government in a good light. This overeagerness to hide the truth may be another reason for the people shying away from the present dispensation.
Then there are the relatively lesser issues of browbeating the people and the restriction of freedom of speech and other aspects of life which may not be as much election issues.