New Delhi is abuzz with speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi
is likely to advance the Lok Sabha polls
by at least six months, if not a year. Not just the Opposition, but Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) leaders also are peddling such theories. Several reasons are being given, the foremost being the BJP
would suffer if it were to wait until April 2019. The Modi government has failed to deliver on its promise of “better days” and with each passing day will only lose support, or so the argument goes. Some in the BJP
believe that a campaign around Ram Janmabhoomi issue, with the Supreme Court set to start daily hearings on the case, may not be enough to save the party from the anger among youth because of job losses. The speculation ranges from the Lok Sabha polls
at the end of 2018, alongside Assembly polls to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram. However, some believe even that would be too late given the sharp shift in the political narrative in the last six weeks. Advancing of polls would also need to factor in the possibility of a drought next year. Several of the BJP's allies such as Bihar Chief Minister and Janata Dal (United) chief Nitish Kumar and Lok Janshakti Party chief and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan support the PM's call for simultaneous polls. Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader M Thambidurai has also written to the PM expressing support. Ram Vilas Paswan's son and Lok Sabha member Chirag Paswan has started touring Bihar. BJP
chief Amit Shah has been travelling to all parts of the country to streamline the party's organisational strength.