As the country is looking forward to the much talked about 2019 Lok Sabha Polls, the fourth edition of the Times Lit fest 2018 had an apt topic to debate : Road to 2019 – Who is Winning the Perception Battle? It drew huge crowds as Rahul Shivshankar , Editor-in- Chief , Times Now anchored the engrossing yet lively debate.
There was a heavy weight panel on stage – BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju , Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Political analyst and former media advisor to former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Sanjaya Baru, CPI leader Mohammed Salim , and BJD’s Pinaki Mishra.
The debate, which started with the present economic scenario of the country , figuring out “acche din” versus the unfulfilled promises such as getting back the black money. Mired by the Rafale controversy , Congress Singhvi and Salim blamed the government for being unable to answer on host of issues including the farmer’s woes . Not only this they also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi for carefully avoiding the question whether Acche din were being experienced by the people of Rajasthan?
But Swamy had something else to tell, about government being proud of its Hindutva image under RSS and for its tough stand on corruption. Swamy in- fact took a dig at senior Congress leader and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram saying :” Chidambaram does not know law will be in jail soon” drawing cheers from the audience.
Being on the same page Union Minister Kiren Rijiju echoed Swamy on the contentious demonetisation issue, saying “if you want to cure yourself, you need an injection….that’s what is demonetisation is all about.”
Further , Rijiju lamented the united opposition moves and said they had no common agenda except Modi hatao. Towards the end , Subramanian Swamy exuded confidence and said : “we will win not only the five states but also the Lok Sabha Polls in 2019”. While Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mohammed Salim and Pinaka Mishra expectedly nodded that there has been change in perception on the ground.
The results of the 5 states are going to be declared on December 11. It will indicate surely which way the win is blowing. So let’s wait and watch.