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Could Modi end up in 2004-like defeat? 11 December will tell

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Neither Ram nor Rafale, the biggest election issue is rural distress.

December has developed the habit of giving us a reality check. By New Year’s eve, we forget it, only to get a rude shock once again next December.

Last December, the Gujarat assembly election brought to national attention the suffering of rural India. Despite GST and Patel sentiments, urban Gujarat stood by the BJP, but rural saw a complete rout.

While the national media worries about Ram and Rafale, CBI and RBI, Modi and Rahul, the biggest story of India is rural distress. We may again get a reminder about rural India’s woes on 11 December. Not just in the BJP-ruled states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh but also in the prosperous TRS-ruled Telangana, the story of this election is rural distress.

Also read: Narendra Modi, it is time for you to listen to the farmers’ mann ki baat

Regardless of who wins or loses these states, it will be important to note how rural seats have voted. If there is a clear urban-rural divide in the results on 11 December, it will impact Narendra Modi’s prospects in 2019.

So far, the BJP voters are distinguishing between Brand Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party, between the Prime Minister and the chief minister. There is not a single BJP-ruled state where it........

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