As the evening set in, the bards, visionaries and activists came out of their hibernation in Bangalore Literature Festival. Maybe it was the general air of intoxication around- a sense of utopia, an acute awareness of affecting the possibilities or was it the wine that was spicing their thoughts? Politics, most importantly the upcoming election is an underlying theme this year at the festival. It is apt too as literature has always been a response to the times. What issue can be more burning at present than the upcoming elections? Whom do you think is going to win the upcoming election is not much of a question. Wherever you are standing now, Right or Left, you know the answer. But why? That is the answer the last panel of the day aptly titled, ‘Road to 2019’ chose to answer.

The panel saw an interesting mix comprising of Mukund Padmanabhan, Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, R Sukumar, Saba Naqvi and Ashutosh Varshney. Though not much of a reveal, on who is going to win the election this time, the analysis they provided were what stood out. The session, maybe a little too short, tried best to give the audience a holistic picture. The three key topics that drove the discussion were: the burning issues at present in the country, how these issues might influence the upcoming election and the key alliances right now.

Through the course of the session, the panellists mused that at present BJP has the resources, more finance than all the opposition combined, which can play a very important role in the election. Moreover, all the panellists were of the opinion that Modi and Amit Shah are willing to go the extra mile to ensure that they monetize the election like 2014. Their willingness to learn is what differentiates them.

R Sukumar proposed three phases of Modi that are going to influence the constituencies. The economic phase of Modi is not going to fare well, however, the other two bodes well for the BJP and is going to influence the election. Evoking the results of the 2014 election which surprised all their calculation, the panellists were of the opinion that a strong alliance among the opposition, can maybe tip the scales. They gave the example of the probable alliance of BSP & SP in Madhya Pradesh to illustrate that combined forces of opposition can bring a huge difference.

About the Author: A wanderer at heart, Vibhuthi is the author of Rainbow, an anthology of poems that was published in 2009 by Nishaganti Publication. She treads through life, by twirling with words, reading into pauses and looking for meaning. She currently writes for Bookstalkist.