City Sunday

2024 polls will be much tougher for RaGa and Opposition

Congress president Rahul Gandhi apparently tells those close to him that he is not bothered about losing a couple of elections to PM Narendra Modi because he believes he has all the time ahead of him, while Modi doesn’t.

His confidence could be misplaced

Rahul is fast running out of political capital. The India he understood from his sheltered life of entitlement has changed, and is set to transform even more unrecognisably for him.

Many years later, one might remember May 23 as the day that decisively gave India a new direction. And, took dynasts like Rahul Gandhi further away from power.

Cleaned-up economy will start to gallop

With the teething pain of GST behind us and crucial reforms like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code and RERA (Real Estate Regulation and Development Act) in place, Modi is likely to go for deeper reforms in banking, agriculture, MSME and other sectors. With this, India’s economy may see a steady growth 8% upwards in the next five years. This, coupled with welfare schemes like Ujjwala, Ayushman Bharat and PM Awas Yojna reaching a much wider population and lifting them from poverty and disadvantage, will place PM Modi in a virtually un-slayable position.

Hinduness, the civilisational glue, to get stronger

After centuries of invasions, colonial rule, cultural subjugation and lopsided Nehruvian secularism since Independence, Hindus in India have started strongly reconnecting with their past and reasserting their pride. The imminent construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, removal of Articles 35A and 370 which give Kashmir special status and cuts it off from the nation’s mainstream, creation of a Uniform Civil Code, freeing temple boards from government interference and removing religious discrimination under Right to Education will alleviate longstanding grudges of Hindus and unite them even more behind Modi.

Modi will have a majority in both Houses

Modi sarkar’s first five years were in parts marred by Rajya Sabha where a hostile Opposition had the numbers. From Land Bill to Triple Talaq, there was a constant effort to block legislation. Now, Modi has come back with a bigger majority in the Lok Sabha and by the end of next year, is likely to get its own majority in the Rajya Sabha as well. In fact, it is just 10 seats less than a two-third majority in LS, which it can achieve with a post-poll alliance with Jagan Reddy, K Chandrasekhar Rao or Naveen Patnaik. This will not just make legislation easy, it will get it closer to Constitution amending power.

Deeper, wider organisational expansion

Five more years in power is enough for the BJP and the RSS to spread its roots across the remaining parts of India, especially the south where its most intense focus will lie. It has already breached the Bengal, Odisha and Northeast fortresses. With that kind of spread and influence, the BJP could be looking at a 400-seat target in 2024.

Education reforms will roll

Last five years, the BJP government has not moved much on education policies and curriculum framework. This term, insiders say it is going to be a priority. Left-Congress has so far tightly controlled academia. With sweeping educational reforms in this Modi term, for the first time, a counter-Nehruvian-Leftist narrative is likely to take over and start changing the software of this nation.

Corruption accused like Rahul himself may be in jail or abroad

Both Rahul and Sonia Gandhi are out on bail in the National Herald scam. Robert Vadra could be arrested shortly in land-grab cases. A number of Opposition netas like Mamata Banerjee to Mayawati could face charges and trial massive chit fund and other scams. The Opposition may run out of credible faces to take on Modi in 2024.

So clearly, Rahul Gandhi does not have the luxury to look at the calendar, sit back and relax. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).

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