View: Why BJP is a formidable challenge for Opposition in 2024 - Hindustan Times
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View: Why BJP is a formidable challenge for Opposition in 2024

Dec 04, 2023 11:41 AM IST

While PM Narendra Modi has sounded the bugle for 2024 General Elections, his “Man Friday” Amit Shah is already on the job.

New Delhi: Hindsight may be 20/20 but the exit polls conducted by various TV channels after recently concluded Assembly elections show wide variance, sometimes totally off the mark, and are akin to predictions made by astrologers to believers of destiny and fate in Bharat. Basically, the probability of an exit poll going right has a 50-50 chance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP leaders Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with BJP leaders Amit Shah, Rajnath Singh and JP Nadda.

A closer look at the past exit polls of Assembly elections to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh reveals that the exit pollsters tended to deflate the seat projections for BJP and inflate the seat numbers projections for the Congress or any other party. This is primarily because despite Narendra Modi completing nine years as Prime Minister of India, the media tends to understand the BJP through the prism of Congress or the Left. And the BJP top leadership, fully aware of the bias, tends to keep the relationship with media at a need to know basis with neither PM Modi nor Home Minister Amit Shah forgetting the attacks made by sections of media post 2002 Godhra riots and prior to the rise of BJP in 2014. Simply put, the two leaders have no expectations from the media and the PM has virtually given up on this project as a non-starter.

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Let’s take the example of Rajasthan, where two prominent pollsters predicted the return of Congress under Ashok Gehlot in the border state. Fact is that due to infighting within the ruling Congress and consequent poor governance, the public had largely written off the party much before the state went to polls. One must realize that Rajasthan like Madhya Pradesh is essentially a state that has Hindutva in its DNA and until and unless the BJP fails on count of governance or propriety, the right wing party will always remain on a strong footing in these states. That the BJP managed to bag 54 more Assembly seats as compared to 2018 shows that it was a pro-incumbency vote for CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan with Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia acting as a force multiplier. The bonus change in Chhattisgarh, which all the pollsters got it totally wrong, simply reflects that the voter will vote out any government that is either seen to be corrupt or fails to deliver on governance. The empowerment of the tribal population in the country by appointing Draupadi Murmu as the President of India is also another reason why tribal Chhattisgarh voted for the BJP despite lackadaisical local leadership.

The change in Karnataka towards the Congress was perhaps on account of governance and probity, despite 100 per cent efforts by the PM and the entire BJP leadership. This also explains the change in Telangana and not merely anti-incumbency. The intra-party competition and distribution of tickets to winning candidates are common denominators in all political parties and as such cancel themselves out.

While PM Modi has sounded the bugle for 2024 General Elections, his “Man Friday” Amit Shah is already on the job and preparing grounds for the party for the general election and ensuring that there is no grounds for complacency among the foot soldiers. As Shah and party President J P Nadda continue to make the BJP election machinery more efficient, PM Modi with his work ethics, past record and vision has convinced the voter about his dream of making Bharat a developed country. Pollsters will continue making predictions for 2024 but the Opposition will find it near impossible to breach "Fort BJP".

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