The biggest democratic festival—Lok Sabha elections 2019—is all set to take place in less than 90 days. Whereas on the one hand Modi government will try to retain power, on the other hand, Congress party will attempt to regain its lost glory.
In the Lok Sabha elections 2014, Modi government won 282 seats. The Congress party settled at only 44 seats.
What will be different in this election compared to 2014?
Honestly speaking, every general election is different in its own way because it takes place at the interval of every five years and a lot changes politically in that time span.
However, this time there will be a different political scene altogether as these five faces, possibly, will going to give a tough fight to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
1) Hardik Patel
Hardik Patel is a social activist who participated and led the Patidar reservation agitation. The person is known for giving tough fight till date to PM Narender Modi in his home turf Gujarat.
To press for the right of the Patidars, Patel formed the Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti in July 2015. He addressed his first rally in Visnagar, Gujarat on 6 July 2015 and since then he is well known in not only Gujarat but across the length and breadth of the country. He is known for his direct and sharp attacks at the Prime Minister.
In one of his interviews to me in May 2017, while attacking PM Narendra Modi he had said, “Modi only ‘burst balloons in the air”.
2) Jignesh Mevani
Jignesh Mevani is another young politician who has rose to prominence post-2014 LS polls.
In 2017, in Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, he contested and won the poll ( from Vadgam constituency), running as an independent candidate. He got the support of the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.
He has worked as a social activist and had led protests by Dalits, in Gujarat in 2016.
3) Kanhaiya Kumar
In north India, especially in and around the national capital Delhi, Kanhaiya Kumar emerged as a well know name post-2014 general polls.
A former president of the Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union, he was arrested in February 2016. He was accused of sedition by the Delhi police for allegedly doing nothing to prevent the alleged raising of anti-India slogans in a student rally.
To protest the 2013 hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru, the rally was called. Guru was a Kashmiri separatist convicted for the 2001 Indian Parliament attack.
On 2 March 2016 for lack of conclusive evidence, Kumar was released on interim bail. Since then he has been actively seen campaigning against the Prime Minister.
4) Alpesh Thakor
Another leader from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home turf, Alpesh Thakor is Member of the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. On 23 October 2017, Thakor joined the Congress party, contested and won from Radhanpur constituency.
The 43-year-old leader grabbed a lot of attention in December 2017 when he commented that PM Modi eats mushrooms worth Rs 80,000 from Taiwan. Congress leader Thakor had said, “Modi ji eats mushrooms from Taiwan and one mushroom costs Rs 80,000 and he eats five mushrooms every day”.
“He was dark like me, but he became fair because of imported mushrooms,” he further said.
5) Rahul Gandhi
When it comes to those who are taking PM Modi head-on, how can we miss the name of Congress president Rahul Gandhi? In these four-five years, as a leader, Gandhi has evolved many folds.
He took the reins of the party in December 2017 and within a year, gifted the Congress with three big wins in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. His recent accomplishments have even turned the mouth shut of his most fierce critics.
Son of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, he has arisen as a new force for the Congress party. Whether its Rafale deal or GST or demonetisation, he has led the opposition when it comes to attacking the government.
To what extent these young leaders will be able to affect the LS polls 2019, only the time will tell but one thing is for sure-these five will pose a tough challenge for “Modi wave”.
About the author: Author is Deputy Editor in India TV and tweets at @AnuragSason
Disclaimer: The views expressed by the author are personal and do not reflect the opinions, beliefs and views of India TV.