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BJP playing China card to boost its chances in Lok Sabha election 2019, says Chinese media op-ed

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Beijing, Feb 13: The Lok Sabha election of 2019 is not too far now and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making busy preparation to win its second successive mandate.

While domestic affairs are certainly going to play a big role in the upcoming electoral battle between the BJP and its opponent parties, will foreign affairs and especially China be a factor in this poll?

BJP playing China card to boost its chances in Lok Sabha election 2019, says Chinese media op-ed

According to a piece penned by an Indian journalist in China's Global Times, the upcoming election is "posing quite a challenge" to Modi and the "situation is looking so tough that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is raising just every possible issue which it thinks could work in its favor".

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One such issue is the reported meeting between chief of Opposition Congress Rahul Gandhi with some ministers and officials from China during his trip to Kailash Mansarovar.

Rahul later spoke about his meeting with the Chinese leaders at a rally in Odisha and said that India should learn from China's experience in creating jobs for youths.

While he spoke about China as an example for fighting unemployment, the BJP gave the matter a new twist, said the Global Times op-ed.

"According to a government survey reported by an Indian business daily, India's unemployment rate stood at 6.1 percent in 2017-18 which was the highest in the past 45 years. Gandhi quickly turned to Twitter to hit out at the BJP dispensation, describing it as "National Disaster" but the ruling party termed it "fake news"," said the Chinese website report.

The BJP also dubbed Rahul as a "Chinese propagandist", the piece cited Indian reports.

The BJP, besides questioning the "request" of the Chinese ambassador to give the Congress president a ceremonial send-off for his Mansarovar trip, also dug deep into the latter's meeting with the Chinese envoy to India during the Doklam standoff in 2017.

According to the Global Times piece, the BJP is trying to make use of any issue ahead of the Lok Sabha poll to kill the anti-incumbency and divert people's attention from the more serious matters.

It said facing criticism from the Opposition over falling short of job creation promise and the Rafale fighter jet fiasco, the BJP is playing the China card to certain extent to help its cause in the election.

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"But why is the BJP desperate to play the China card this time? As per reports, the BJP has become apprehensive of not putting up a good show in the elections. Modi dropped enough hints about it when he urged people to elect a stable government so it could take "tough and strong decisions". Various poll surveys too are making similar predictions," the report added.

However, the report also cited experts to say that playing the China card is little likely to help the BJP to do well in the upcoming election.

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