Free Press Journal

Why BJP and Amit Shah should aim for 400+ for 2019 elections

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Indian republic is always in an election mode. India being such a vast country with 29 states and seven union territories, somewhere in the country elections are happening. In 2014, Indian politics changed forever with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) winning close to 340 seats out of 543 and BJP winning 282 seats single-handedly and it broke all sets of records. Narendra Modi has completed three years at the centre and is gearing up for the 2019 general election in near future. Modi-led BJP won humongous mandate in 2014 and are already in the process of retaining their seat at the centre. The news of cabinet reshuffle will be done keeping state elections in mind and master strategist and BJP president Amit Shah has said that he wants saffron party on its own to win more than 350 seats.

Can BJP retain their power? Is Amit Shah getting ahead of himself? Is BJP being overconfident? Will BJP’s bubble burst like it happened in 2004? The performance of the current dispensation has been a mixed one and have faced setbacks such as low growth, intolerance, cross border terrorism, opposition backlash and many more issues, so what gives BJP’s Chanakya this much confidence ahead of 2019 which is still 20 months away. Amit Shah has over the years proved himself as the ultimate election strategist and has been rightly given the title of ‘Election Winning Machine’ (no pun intended). BJP in 2014 won Gujarat (26-0), Rajasthan (25-0), Uttar Pradesh (73 seats out of 80), Delhi (7-0), Madhya Pradesh (27 seats out of 29), Bihar (31/40), Karnataka (17/28) and Maharashtra (42 out of 48 in alliance with Shiv Sena) in order to winning simple majority. The trends for 2019 show that it will be difficult to retain all the seats which they won in the summer of 2014 and that is why Shah is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation to capture power again.

Amit Shah has over the years proved himself as the ultimate election strategist and has been rightly given the title of ‘Election Winning Machine’ (no pun intended). BJP in 2014 won Gujarat (26-0), Rajasthan (25-0), Uttar Pradesh (73 seats out of 80), Delhi (7-0), Madhya Pradesh (27 seats out of 29), Bihar (31/40), Karnataka (17/28) and Maharashtra (42 out of 48 in alliance with Shiv Sena) in order to winning simple majority. The trends for 2019 show that it will be difficult to retain all the seats which they won in the summer of 2014 and that is why Shah is leaving no stone unturned in his preparation to capture power again.


Is BJP reading too much into 2014 results? Can BJP really become a pan India party? The dynamic duo of Modi and Shah have already prepared a roadmap for the next elections and have targetted states, where they can make an impact. BJP currently is a marginal player in south India and states such as Andhra Pradesh (currently in alliance with TDP), Telangana, Tamil Nadu (39 seats), Karnataka (28 seats), Kerala (20 seats). BJP has also made huge efforts in reaching out and expanding its base in north eastern states such as Odisha (21 seats), West Bengal (42 seats and breathing down Mamata Banerjee’s neck) and is currently governing Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur with hoping to expand its voter base.

Also read: Modi to go in for a major overhaul of his Cabinet on Sunday morning

The BJP is currently in power in 18 states with its alliance partners and the opposition is in complete disarray and in chaos. The opposition is clueless, directionless on how to take on a strong and powerful BJP and its parivar (read RSS). Shah is a grassroot politician and has already has made plans to make India into one party, one state. Narendra Modi likes to win elections and for him every election is a new challenge that he wants to conquer. India suffered a great deal when Congress unilaterally ruled India for close to 60 years and poor voter had no choice, but to vote for hand symbol again and again. BJP is making huge strides in becoming another Congress (ironically BJP wants Congress free India) and Indian republic has to have a strong and ruthless opposition to keep the government in check.

What will happen in 2019 that nobody knows and who knows BJP could lose miserably like it lost in 2004 when ‘India shining’ fall flat on its face and democracy prevailed. The current trend and opinion polls shows that NAMO chariot is hard to halt and without any trouble BJP might break its own tally of 2014. India believes and practices democracy and it has to hope that there should be a contest and may the better party win for India’s sake.

Post Script: The 2014 elections saw TINA factor (There is no alternative) throwing Congress out of power and 2019 could see TIMO factor (There is Modi Only) to get BJP over the line and if BJP wins over 400 seats then it will mean that they won close to 75% of seats out of 543. Looks impossible and improbable but few would bet against Modi and Shah continuing their juggernaut.