BJP targets 50%-plus popular vote for historic third mandate

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP National President J.P. Nadda, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and other leaders. (Photo: Qamar Sibtain/IANS)

By Santosh Kumar Pathak

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), engaged in its mission to secure victory for a third consecutive time in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and form the government at the centre, has prepared its election strategy and begun implementing it.

Discussing the BJP’s strategy on a larger scale, it is evident that, while considering the preparations of the opposition alliances, the saffron party is focusing on a strategy to secure more than 50 per cent of the vote share. 

While the BJP intends to safeguard its strongholds on one hand, it also plans to make dents into the strongholds of opposition parties. 

The party wants to teach a lesson to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Shiv Sena (UBT) President Uddhav Thackeray, who are now aligned with the opposition.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP, in alliance the with Apna Dal (S), secured victory on 64 out of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh. This time, the party is paying special attention to the 16 seats they lost last time.

In Maharashtra, the BJP, in alliance with the Shiv Sena, secured victory in 41 out of 48 Lok Sabha seats. But now the saffron party is strategising to secure victory on all 48 seats by teaming up with different partners such as the Shiv Sena-led by Eknath Shinde and Ajit Pawar.

In Bihar, the BJP, along with the JDU and LJP, secured victory in 39 out of 40 seats. However, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who won 16 seats last time, is now part of the opposition.

The BJP is aiming at Nitish Kumar’s vote bank and MPs.

In the previous Lok Sabha elections, the BJP won 28 out of 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh; 25 out of 28 in Karnataka; 26 in Gujarat; 25  in Rajasthan (in alliance);10 seats in Haryana; 5 seats in Uttarakhand; 7 seats in Delhi; 4 seats in Himachal Pradesh; 11 out of 14 seats in Jharkhand; 9 out of 11 in Chhattisgarh; and 9 out of 14 in Assam.

The BJP alone secured more than 50 per cent of the votes in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Himachal Pradesh in 2019.

The party aims to achieve the same feat in these states this time, ensuring a decisive victory against the opposition unity.

In 2019, the BJP secured more than 50 per cent of the votes in Maharashtra with Shiv Sena and in Bihar with Nitish Kumar and Ram Vilas Paswan. This time, the BJP aims to recreate that magic with new allies.

The BJP is well aware that if the opposition manages to unite successfully, it could pose challenges. Thus, the party is focusing on states where opposition unity seems unlikely or where the BJP’s performance was not satisfactory last time, or where the BJP expects a better performance this time.

In 2019, the BJP did not win a single seat in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu. Therefore, the BJP is striving to open its account in these three states. 

In Tamil Nadu, a senior woman minister from the Central government is also preparing to contest the elections.

In 2019, the BJP won 18 out of 42 seats in West Bengal, 8 out of 21 in Odisha, 4 out of 17 in Telangana, and 2 out of 13 in Punjab (Akali Dal also won 2 seats, although they are not with the BJP now). The BJP’s efforts in these four states are directed towards increasing the number of party MPs.

To achieve its electoral goals, the BJP is working on multiple levels. While it is deploying Union Ministers and party leaders on 160 Lok Sabha seats, which are considered weak to increase public connect. The party is also searching for new candidates to replace the inactive ones from the 303 seats won last time.

Furthermore, with a focus on managing the micro-level operations of the election campaign and streamlining the organisation and activities, the BJP has divided all states and union territories into three regions: East Region, North Region, and South Region. The party has also held separate meetings with leaders from these regions.

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