BJP is Well Prepared for 2024 Parliamentary Elections, Say Political Pundits

© AFP 2023 / SANJAY KANOJIAIndia's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists gather during a roadshow of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the seventh phase of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections in Varanasi on March 4, 2022.
India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists gather during a roadshow of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the seventh phase of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly elections in Varanasi on March 4, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.03.2022
Five Indian states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa, and Manipur -- recently underwent legislative assembly polls. The BJP not only won in four of them but also created history: for the first time in 37 years, the state's ruling party was re-elected in UP and the same BJP government returned to power in Uttarakhand.
India's federally ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is riding a wave of assembly poll success.
In UP, the BJP managed to win 255 seats, and along with coalition partner Apna Dal (Sonelal)'s seats, their total surged to 273.
In Uttarakhand, the BJP won 47 seats. In Goa and Manipur, it bagged 20 and 32 seats respectively.
Notably, the BJP was an incumbent party in all these four states.
As compared to the previous assembly polls, the party won seven and 11 more seats in Goa and Manipur respectively, whereas in UP and Uttarakhand it suffered a loss of 57 and 10 seats respectively.
UP is generally said to be a trendsetter for the parliamentary polls' results.

Why BJP Lost Over 50 Seats in Uttar Pradesh?

Talking to Sputnik, political analyst and pro-vice-chancellor of Karnataka’s Jain University Sandeep Shastri SAID: “It is easy to focus on what they (BJP) lost. But it is important to understand that this time the Uttar Pradesh polls were bipolar."
"And in such a scenario, you have a tough competition coming up. Along with this, the BJP had to face some element of anti-incumbency because it was in power for five years.”
“This time there was a clear polarisation of votes of the opposition, as they went to the [main opposition] Samajwadi Party."
"Besides some of the prominent non-Yadav Backward Class leaders left the party just ahead of polls. So, these factors might have played a role in the loss of some seats of the BJP,” he says.
Describing the loss of 57 seats in UP polls as a minor setback for the BJP, he says one has to understand that despite all factors as just mentioned coming into play, it is now the first ruling party in the last 37 years to have won a re-election in this state.
Shastri said that the BJP has been successful in overcoming the anti-incumbency because the central leadership played a key role in mobilising voters by leading the poll campaign from the front.
Echoing the views of Shastri, political analyst Sanjeev Kaushik tells Sputnik that the party lost over 50 seats in Uttar Pradesh because people were dissatisfied with the centralisation of power in the state.
"A lot of BJP politicians and workers were not happy with the working style of State Chief Yogi Adityanath,” he says.
Kaushik points out that the authorities in districts were directly reporting to Yogi Adityanath and the MLAs [state legislators] were somewhat sidelined.
"This centralisation of power was not acceptable to a lot of people in the state and this is another reason why some of the prominent leaders had to suffer the defeat in the polls,” Kaushik adds.
Adding to the reasons cited by Shastri and Kaushik, political analyst Desh Ratan Nigam tells Sputnik that the problem for the BJP in Uttar Pradesh was also that the Muslim decided to vote for the Samajwadi Party in overwhelming numbers.

BJP Needs to Introspect Before 2024 Parliamentary Polls

Though the parliamentary elections are two years away, all political parties have started preparing for it. A lot of political experts have said time and again that Uttar Pradesh state assembly polls' results will set a prelude.
However, Shastri believes that it is unfair to compare the parliamentary elections with the state assembly polls. “The state assembly polls are majorly contested on local issues while the parliamentary elections are fought on national issues. Therefore, there is no comparison between the two.”
He, however, says that there is no doubt that the Uttar Pradesh state assembly polls were crucial as they have set the pace but not decided the outcome of 2024 polls.
“We still have two years and a lot of water can flow below the bridge in these two years. So, the results of assembly polls may be a morale booster for the BJP. But what would happen in the next two years will be critical in defining and deciding the direction,” Shastri states.
Talking about the issues which the BJP should address before 2024 elections, he says that the BJP party is already working on several things as there will be a public expectation to fulfil the promises they made during polls.
He says the federal government's actions will also be closely monitored. The issues like inflation, unemployment, etc. are concerned, they are the biggest challenges for any government.
"But then ultimately, when people vote, they take a call as to who in their perception is best suited to be able to handle these problems and I think there is enough evidence to show that the delivery of welfare schemes, cash benefit transfers, etc. are a few things which people have found coming in their favour and this has led them to vote for the BJP,” he adds.
Nigam believes that the result of the Uttar Pradesh state assembly poll is a very good signal for the 2024 elections and it shows that the BJP is well-prepared for the parliamentary elections.
“However, there were certain internal issues within the BJP. I believe there should have been more cohesiveness in their approach towards elections as there was some scattering. So, the party must work towards bringing in some level of discipline at the local level,” he notes.
Nigam also suggests that the BJP must take up the issues of Muslim communities so that they can garner more support from the community, especially from women.
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