State polls: High stakes for BJP; Congress faces question over its place in opposition | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Even a party that chooses to go ahead with every election could not be more at stake for the BJP than the five state assembly elections that the Election Commission announced on Saturday.
Initially, the party is in power in four of the five states, including the all-important Uttar Pradesh, and the election is also the first popular test for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after announcing the cancellation of three controversial farms. Laws to quell the fires of discontent among a large section of farmers in northern India.
If the February 10 elections are significant for the ruling party, their results have an additional element of political fluidity in the opposition, as the Aam Aadmi Party and the Trinamool Congress have launched an aggressive campaign similar to that of the BJP. Also directed towards Congress.
With the Congress demanding the BJP to be a natural frontrunner in any united opposition challenge by scrutinizing regional satraps in the run-up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the election results could force a reorganization into opposition politics, political observers believe.
The theory is gaining ground as the Sonia Gandhi-led party is the main rival in three of the four states where the BJP is in power. Congress in power in Punjab.
For the BJP, the first two rounds of elections on February 10 and 14 are probably the most challenging because it includes Punjab, where the peasant movement was most intense and the Jat region of western UP, Uttar Pradesh was also hit hard. By protest
Goa and Uttarakhand, two states where the BJP is in power, will also go to the polls on February 14.
Some believe that the trend seen in the first two phases could play a significant role in the remaining five phases for Uttar Pradesh, which has a total of 403 assembly seats with a voter base of over 150 million.
There was speculation in some quarters that the BJP wanted to start elections from the eastern part of UP, where the party is believed to be in a stronger position than the western part of the state in terms of farmers’ protests.
However, the election schedule will follow the traditional pattern of going to the polls first in the West and then to the East, which some scholars now say will help the BJP build a confident face from the word go.
At the same time, it will also help the ruling party gain momentum if it fails to garner the desired level of support in Punjab and Western UP.
The recent political slugfest between the Congress and the BJP over security breaches during Modi’s visit to Punjab has added another dimension to the state elections.
If in 2012 Western UP was a stepping stone to Uttar Pradesh, this time a section of the BJP Jats are facing the challenge of felt anger to join hands against the Samajwadi Party and the RLD ruling party. .
BJP leaders have expressed confidence to repeat the achievements they made in the last elections behind the double boards of their development and Hindutva, where Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is in charge while Modi is the main theme of the party’s campaign.
The party also hopes to benefit from differences in the Congress camp in Uttarakhand, though it has been forced to change two chief ministers in the run-up to the elections.
Goa and Manipur are also witnessing a multi-faceted rivalry with the BJP which has worked to weaken the main opposition Congress in both the states through defections.

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