BJP may opt for early general elections

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With Hindi heartland in its pocket will Bharatiya Janata Party go for early elections at the Centre

The BJP is already talking of 2029, confident that it is on the road to victory in the new year.

(Shankar Raj)

Riding high on the victories in the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, the BJP may toy with the idea of advancing the general elections that is due in April-May to February – March soon after presenting an interim budget.

The BJP would be keen to strike the iron when hot. The INDIA bloc is likely to split and there are signs starting with Omar Abullah who has already said that his Jammu & Kashmir National Conference will fight on its own.

The INDIA bloc would be meeting on Dec 6 where the Congress is likely to abdicate its claim to be the dominant leader of the pack. This would lead to more confusion with none wanting to lead the bloc after the strong showing by the BJP.

A votary of single elections, the Central government may recommend for simultaneous polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha, Sikkim and J&K where polls are due between April and May.

If the general elections are advanced, the BJP is likely to sweep the Hindi heartland with more seats coming its way from Uttar Pradesh and, possibly Bihar.

The party will also make headway in Maharashtra, Goa. In Odisha the BJP may not have to strive much as Modi has a good friend in Naveen Patnaik.

There is a talk that the BJP may find it tough in the south. True to some extent. But the party is likely to do well in Karnataka notwithstanding the fact that the Congress recently won the Assembly elections there.

Karnataka voters have always voted differently when it comes to national elections and with the BJP doing well in the three states on Sunday, the saffron party would stand to gain.

Tamil Nadu and Kerala may be tough for the BJP though the saffron party is expected to pick a few seats.

In Telangana too the BJP may make gains in the general elections. In the Assembly elections, the saffron party has moved up from one seat to eight. This is why Prime Minister Modi had a special message for Telangana where he promised the people that he will strive better to serve them.

Another significant factor in the elections is that Hindus have started backing the BJP as a bloc as they are fed up and alarmed at the appeasement politics played by the Congress and other parties. If the Muslims would vote for their men in a bloc, the Hindus would do so for the BJP. That is the faint reading on the wall today and will become bolder in the coming days.

More women have started backing the BJP and they are happy with Modi’s development agenda. There is no agenda on INDIA’s plate, just crumbs of promises.

Attracting investors, Modi’s emergence as a global leader and the visible development milestones like introducing Vande Bharat trains have clicked among the voters.

Modi underscored the BJP’s development agenda in his message after the party bagged the three significant states. He said on X: “We bow to the Janta Janardan. The results in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan indicate that the people of India are firmly with politics of good governance and development, which the @BJP4India stands for. I thank the people of these states for their unwavering support and assure them that we will keep working tirelessly for their well-being.”

What is also significant is that Modi will not have a strong and significant opponent to fight. The opposition also does not have a leader or an agenda except a ‘remove Modi’ slogan.

Alliance parties like the DMK have added to the bloc’s discomfort. DMK leader Udhayanidhi Stalin’s comments on Sanatan Dharma angered the Hindus and may have helped the BJP in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh.

Rahul Gandhi’s not-so-veiled “panauti” comment was seen in poor taste and likely played an adverse role in Rajasthan.

The Congress party’s thrust on caste census and reservation may also have weakened the party.

While the INDIA bloc is still struggling to put its house in order, the BJP is now talking of 2029, confident that it is on the road to victory in the coming year.

(Author is a Senior Editor and Political Analyst based at Bengaluru)

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