Happy New Year: From Ayodhya to Budget to elections, a hectic year ahead
New Delhi, Jan 1: 2018 was an eventful year and has now made way for 2019. It promises to be an eventful year with the mother of all polls, the Lok Sabha elections coming up.
The run up to the elections would see several developments unfolding. From ally adjustments ahead of the polls to the Ayodhya case in the Supreme Court, the year promises to be an exciting one.
Before finding out what to expect, OneIndia would like to wish all its readers a 'Very Happy New Year and a prosperous 2019.'
2019 looking ahead:
2018 set the tone for the mother of all electoral battles. The BJP's winning run was stalled by a resurgent Congress in the Hindi heartlands of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. These developments have set the tone for the 2019 elections.
In 2018, the BJP lost some of its crucial allies like the RLSP in Bihar and TDP in Andhra Pradesh. To make matters worse for the BJP, its oldest ally the Shiv Sena has indicated that it would contest the 2019 elections alone.
The rest of the parties are trying to stitch up an alliance. While the Congress found itself to be in a stronger position towards the end of 2018, it has still not been able to call the shots alone to set up a formidable front against the BJP.
Before the big election, the BJP led government would present its final budget. The BJP would have thought that ahead of the 2019 elections, the economic renewal would have been the hallmark. However the country's potential remains well below with the GDP growth slowing down to 7.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 as compared to 8.2 per cent in the first quarter.
Moodys has predicted that the economic growth is expected to moderate to 7.3 per cent in 2019. The government would however take some solace in the fact that the Rupee has recovered against the Dollar and there has been a drop in the inflation and oil prices.
The Budget which would be presented on February 1 will be crucial. It would accord the government one last opportunity to announce some popular measures. The focus would however be on the rural sector and urban middle class.
The farmer challenge:
The farmer challenge would be the government's biggest headache. The performance of the Congress in the rural areas in Gujarat in the 2017 elections was clearly a wake up call for the BJP.
The farmer crisis was also visible in Maharashtra. Nearly 50,000 farmers marched to Mumbai to demand a renumeration in crop prices. There have been five major rallies since.
The results in the Hindi heartland have also highlighted that it is high time that the farming community is planted. The BJP had managed to win just 35 per cent of the 436 assembly seats in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. The Congress on the other hand won 55 per cent of these seats.
The Ayodhya issue:
This would be a major one this year. The matter is pending in the Supreme Court and the case would be heard on January 4. During the last date of hearing, the court had indicated that in January, it would only fix the date for the hearing and also allocate a new Bench for the same.
While there have been growing demands by both the RSS and VHP to take the ordinance route, the BJP has not committed anything on the same. The issue is most likely to be kept afloat until the elections. Will this issue comes to the BJP's rescue? Time will tell.