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Priyanka entry to harm both BJP and SP-BSP combine

Priyanka entry to harm both BJP and SP-BSP combine

            The BJP has been disparaging Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s move to catapult his sister #Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the fore front of the electoral battle for the Lok Sabha in Uttar Pradesh. The Samajwadi Party, a constituent of the combine formed by the Akhilesh Yadav led party with Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has reacted cautiously to the move. The BSP on the other hand has been almost silent on Priyanka Gandhi’s entering active politics.

            Whether the rival parties disparage or ignore Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s move joining active politics, it is going to have a far reaching impact on the political scenario in the crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha.

            Before this development, the #SP-BSP combine was almost certain to win the bulk of the seats from the state in a virtual straight fight with the BJP. Pre-poll surveys were predicting that the combine would win nearly three fourths of the total 80 seats. The Congress tally, most surveys said, would be in single digits.

            With the decision to propel Priyanka Gandhi Vadra to the political stage, the Congress has made it clear that it would not be satisfied with just a couple of seats in the crucial Hindi heartland state, but would go all out to make its presence felt.

            This is making both the BJP and the SP-BSP combine uneasy because the move is likely to harm both. The BJP of course is hoping that the move will be more damaging to the SP-BSP combine than to the saffron party. Whether Priyanka Vadra’s entry into active politics harms the BJP or the SP-BSP combine more, it is certain to come as a booster to the moribund Congress organization in Uttar Pradesh.

No cake walk for any political party

            It is becoming increasingly clear that there will be no cake walk  for any political party in the Lok Sabha elections due in three or four months time. The battle is going to be tough both for the BJP, which is bidding for another term in power, and the Congress, which is fighting to reclaim its political relevance. The constituents, actual and potential, of the proposed federal or third front have also their task cutout.

            My assessment is that the BJP and the Congress will find it difficult to cross the 150 mark in the Lok Sabha elections. The prospective federal front constituents would most likely be just behind them or level with them.

Total

State

BJP

NDA Allies

Cong.

UPA Allies

Reg. Part.

L Part.
J&K
PB
HAR
HP
CHD
1
0
3
2

2


2
10
4
2
1




3
1
3





6
13
10
4
1
UP
BHR
JH
UK

18
7
3
3

2
7
3
9
4
2
2

22
5
51

1






80
40
14
5
MP
CG
RAJ
DEL
12
1
10
2

1

15
9
15
1
2





4






29
11
25
7
MAH
GUJ
GOA
11
15
1
9

13
11
1
15





48
26
2
WB
ORI
3
4

3
3

31
14
5
42
21
NE1235525
TN &
PUD
AP
TEL
KAR
KER
DAD &
NH
D&D
LAK





2
3

9




1




2
4











4
2
3
13
8



2




30


6
4








2
16
14














8








40
25
17
28
20



3




A&N11

123


33

1458414513543

            Prospects look bleak for the BJP in the North Western region of the country where the party may just have to remain satisfied with six seats out of the total thirty four. In the North-Central region of the country comprising Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand, the BJP may just win 31 seats out of the total 139. With the #Samajwadi Party of Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati’s #Bahujan Samaj Party coming together, the BJP would be hard put to touch even the 20 mark of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. In neighbouring Bihar, the NDA alliance of BJP, Janata Dal United and Lok Janshakti Party will face a tough challenge from the RJD led #Mahagathbandhan, of which the Congress is also a constituent. In Jharkhand also, the NDA prospects are no brighter.

            In Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh and Rajasthan, the BJP will not be able to repeat its clean sweep of 2014. The Congress, which has won the Assembly elections in these states, will be upbeat and try to win at least two thirds of the Lok Sabha seats from these states.

            In Maharashtra, the situation is no better for the BJP. The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party have almost finalized an alliance in the state. The Congress-NCP combine will pose a tough challenge to the BJP, especially if it is not able to work out an alliance or seat sharing arrangement with the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena Chief #Uddhav Thackeray has already announced that his party will fight the Lok Sabha elections on its own and not in alliance with any other political party. In Gujarat, the BJP can’t hope to sweep the 26 Lok Sabha seats as it did in 2014. From the fight put up by the Congress in the last Assembly elections, it is clear that the Congress cannot be written off in the state. It may win anywhere from 10 to 12 seats in Gujarat.

            In the eastern states of West Bengal and Orissa, the BJP is hoping to make substantial gains, but the situation on the ground does not support the aspiration. The bulk of the seats in these two states are going to be won by the major regional parties which are now ruling there. The BJP as well as the Congress may have to remain satisfied with small change in these two states.

            In the North-East, the BJP may make some gains but as the total number of seats is only 25, the gains may not be of much significance overall.

            In the southern states, which have 130 odd seats, the BJP would struggle to get even 20 seats. Its tally is going to be much less even if it is able to enter into alliances with the dominant regional parties in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

#Murmurs of dissent in BJP

            With portents of defeat in the general elections, there are increasing rumblings in the ruling camp. Union Minister #Nitin Gadkari, who is seen as a potential Prime Minister if the BJP fails to get a majority on its own, has again been in the news for his remarks. Speaking at a function in Mumbai on January 27, he said political leaders who sell dreams to people but fail to make them a reality get “beaten up” by the people. A month back, in December 2018, Gadkari had said that the leadership should have the courage to own up defeat and failures. The remarks had come days after BJP failed to retain power in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhatisgarh in the Assembly elections.

            Nitin Gadkari is known to be close to the RSS, the mother organization of the BJP. Many people believe that Gadkari may have had the RSS go ahead before uttering his recent remarks.

            The race for the Lok Sabha is wide open and it appears to be anybody’s game.

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