It's the D-day today when India will finally know who will lead the country for the next 5 years. CNBC-TV18’s Parikshit Luthra explains what is the political set-up looking like ahead of the big verdict.
The big day has finally arrived, a lot at stake for every political party in the country especially Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This election, in a way, is a referendum to the work done by the Narendra Modi government over the last five years and their economic policies, their defence policies and international affairs as well.
The opposition has been targeting the PM and the BJP for using Balakot strikes as a peg in this election for running a polarised campaign and also over the Rafale deal. So the PM has been hitting back. This has been a volatile campaign and the success of BJP in many ways will depend on how it does in the Hindi heartland.
Last time, it had literally swept the Hindi heartland, which includes Uttar Pradesh (UP), Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Bihar and Haryana. So the success in these states will be very crucial to the BJP’s fortunes once again in 2019.
It will be important to see how the BJP does in Odisha and Bengal. Over the last five years, the party has made a lot of efforts to make inroads in both these states and most of the exit polls showed a good show for the BJP here.
Congress is fighting a battle for survival. It is a test of Rahul Gandhi. It is a test of Priyanka Gandhi as well who led the campaign in UP East, in Varanasi. She campaigned across UP and other parts of the country as well. Last time the Congress was reduced to 44 seats in Lok Sabha, this time many Congress leaders are hoping to win somewhere between 125 and 140.