BJP President Amit Shah is both a workaholic and an optimist. In an interview with Millennium Post, he has announced that BJP will win the Karnataka polls with a majority. If this comes true, Congress will be reduced to ruling only Punjab, Mizoram, and Union Territory Puducherry and BJP will be in power in more than 20 states. Though elections are due in three BJP-ruled states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, BJP can approach these elections and the 2019 general elections on a confident note. The party cadres will feel more confident and enthused as they go out in large numbers canvassing for the party candidates in these three states and later in the entire country for the general elections mid-next year. Shah's tenure as the party president is distinct from his predecessors for the manner in which he has been able to mobilise party cadres across the country for the elections held so far. For the future elections also, he remains optimistic that BJP will romp home in most of the forthcoming elections.
In Contrast, the fortune of the main opposition party Congress is on the decline. Though Congress President Rahul Gandhi is following the campaign trail with gusto, the election results are not going in his favour. The Congress has lost a series of Assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Tripura, Meghalaya, and Nagaland. Karnataka is a crucial election where his party is trying hard against the BJP wave. If the party is able to retain power in the state, it can prove a comeback for the party in the electoral politics of the country. Sensing the weakness of Congress to take on a triumphant BJP, other opposition parties have begun their homework to unite themselves and put up a concerted fight against BJP in the general elections in 2019. The opposition's strategy is to field a common candidate against BJP on all the seats. Shah in his interview has not accorded much significance to the opposition's unity drive against BJP. He is confident that BJP's victory march is unstoppable. With BJP in power in 20 out of 29 states in the country, Shah's confidence has a valid reason.
Shah also recounts the important initiatives and decisions taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for the uplift of the poor. He believes the BJP government at the Centre has worked in favour of the poor and the marginalised. And, it is because of this reason, he believes, that the people in different states have voted and will vote in favour of BJP. The opposition parties including Congress, however, are not convinced. They think BJP government at the Centre has failed on most counts. They believe that it has failed to create jobs for the millions of unemployed youth in the country. According to opposition parties, the Modi government has unduly supported the business class at the cost of the poor people. The recent banking scams in which rich businessmen have defrauded public sector banks to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees certainly puts the government in the dock. Dalits and minorities are aggrieved and they feel that they are not getting their due from the present government. They are also concerned about their safety and security in the current atmosphere in which BJP is ruling the roost. BJP has been trying to allay their fears but the opposition parties are trying to champion the cause of Dalits and minorities. Farmers' suicide is a key issue in the country and the opposition feels that the government is not showing enough sensitivity to the subject. The Karnataka election results will show what the voters think about these issues. As has been evident from the election campaign in the state, local issues are conspicuous by their absence and the issues related to the national politics is dominating the scene. Both opposition and the ruling parties in the state have raised the issue of corruption but both have been accused of giving party tickets to tainted politicians. For the BJP, a win in the Karnataka election will open the gateway to the southern states for the party. And, it is leaving nothing to chance to ensure a victory in the impending Assembly election in the state. Shah's optimism and hard work is only fuelling the growth and expansion of BJP as a truly pan-India party.