Thursday, May 08, 2014

Can the BJP double its existing tally in Lok Sabha to form next government in 2014?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) currently has 116 seats in the Parliament. It needs to double its tally in order to form the next government at the centre.

The party says that Narendra Modi wave will help it reach the magic figure of 272, which is required for a simple majority in the Lok Sabha.

If the party gets anything around 220-230, it can hope to form the government with the help of its allies, under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Barely a week from now, it will be clear if the party is able to reach the figure. Do we need to even discuss it when just a few days remain before result of the 2014 lok sabha elections is out.

In fact, the BJP's publicity blitz makes it appear as if 272 will be easily attainable for the BJP (even without allies). However, it is easier said than done.While it is true that there is disenchantment with the Congress-led UPA government.

But getting almost double the seats is no mean task for the BJP either. From Gujarat, Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, the party is likely to get maximum seats. In Chhattisgarh, it will not be as one-sided though because the difference in Congress and BJP vote is quite narrow.

Apart from North India, Maharashtra will also be crucial

The BJP hopes to do better in Maharashtra due to anti-Congress mood apart from getting substantial seats in Karnataka. It can't expect too much from South India despite its new coalitions in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

In Kerala and West Bengal, a couple of wins would not help much. Now, what it needs is a good tally from UP and Bihar. BJP is hoping 50-55 seats from UP. Even most opinion polls and surveys show that BJP has gained ground due to 'Modi wave'.

But the ground situation isn't as simple. BSP and SP have their core vote and it is more on the expense of Congress that BJP will gain. Can the BJP get 30-35 seats in UP? Even this number is not easy to achieve. In Bihar, it will be even more difficult.

In last Lok Sabha election, BJP had got most seats from Karnataka, Bihar

A state-wide analysis shows that in 2009 general election, BJP had got 19 seats from Karnataka. Can the party get as many seats again from the state? Secondly, NDA had performed too well in Bihar and had got 32 seats.

While JDU got 12, BJP had 20 MPs from Bihar. In Gujarat, Orissa and MP, the BJP may do slightly better compared to last election. But in Punjab, BJP-Akali Dal are not in an advantageous situation this time. AAP is a factor here.

UP had just 10 BJP MPs in the outgoing Lok Sabha and in this state BJP hopes to improve its figure. In Bihar, after the split with JDU, the vote share of  BJP has come down. Can the 'wave' be so strong that it would compensate for it?

BJP needs an extraordinary performance in the election

Reports suggest Lalu Yadav-led RJD's resurgence in the state. If the BJP manages to reach 215-225, it will be an overall gain of 100-110 seats compared to 2009 elections. This will also be extraordinary performance.

The NDA can then stake its claim to form government, as the single biggest coalition. Rahul Gandhi has said that if Congress doesn't get adequate number of seats, his party would sit in opposition, rather than support a third front government.

This is pre-results talk and things can change later. The BJP campaign [and RSS] suggests that if the party doesn't get majority on its own and has to depend on alliance partners, even then it will not compromise on anyone, except, Narendra Modi, to be its PM candidate.

The election has been fought on his name and it is definitely because him that the BJP cadre got energised. Let's see how far he takes the BJP from the present status [116 MPs]. Everyone is waiting for May 16, the day when EVMs will tell us, whom the Indian electorate has chosen to govern us.