Over 50 crore people participated in Lok Sabha election 2019 -the largest democratic exercise in the world - over the last several weeks as India got around to choosing the next government. With Lok Sabha election 2019 held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19, it is now for the Election Commission of India to count the votes and separate the winners from the rest. Counting of votes will start at 8am today.
While an overwhelming majority of exit polls have already predicted the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance to return to power, the rival parties have rejected the figures put out and remain hopeful of reclaiming lost glory in Lok Sabha election 2019. Among them is Congress which carried out an intense campaign against BJP in general and Narendra Modi in particular in this edition of Lok Sabha election. Under party president Rahul Gandhi, Congress is hoping to turn the tide after a massive debacle in the previous Lok Sabha election. Congress was reduced to 44 seats in Lok Sabha election 2014 – a widespread stamp of rejection from Indian people after two terms of United Progressive Alliance in power under Dr Manmohan Singh. This year, the party sought to challenge the policies and promises made by BJP and singled out Modi over a number of factors. Calling him ‘chor’ (thief), Rahul was at the helm of Congress’ campaign but political analysts mostly believe he has been unable to galvanise either his own party or people at large. This despite a pro-poor manifesto released in a bid to find favour in this Lok Sabha election.
In sharp contrast, BJP once again led a formidable fight with Modi taking the centerstage. An acclaimed orator, he not only bore into the Congress and several other rival political leaders but also outlined achievements of his own government since winning the last Lok Sabha election. In addition to these, he also outlined the focus areas of his party in case it comes back to power after Lok Sabha election 2019. And returning to power has never been in doubt for BJP and its alliance partners. Party chief Amit Shah and several other BJP leaders have repeatedly said that a crossing 300 would not be a problem at all for the alliance. Just two days before Lok Sabha election 2019 results, on Tuesday, Shah hosted a dinner for leaders of NDA parties in a bold show of strengthening bonds before the election outcome.
And then there are bonds desperately sought by non-NDA, non-UPA political parties. The likes of Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress (TMC), Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Akhilesh Yadav of Samajwadi Party (SP) and Mayawati of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have been working overtime since the exit polls came out to either reach out to one another or question the fairness of counting votes even before they are actually counted. A number of opposition leaders even met EC officials to raise their concerns over EVMs but the EC eventually decided to continue with the established procedure on Lok Sabha election 2019 results day. There is a strong suspicion that if predictions made by Lok Sabha election 2019 exit polls do come true, several of these opposition parties – if not all – could cry foul and bare fangs against the EC.
Little wonder then that a number of political leaders called for divine intervention – making a beeline for places of worship. From Hema Malini to Gautam Gambhir, several candidates in Lok Sabha election 2019 are keeping fingers firmly crossed in the hopes of winning. Firm indications of which direction Lok Sabha election 2019 results are leaning could well be known by late evening today.