Ram temple, Nitish Kumar. What next? BJP's Lok Sabha poll plans in top gear | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Ram temple, Nitish Kumar. What next? BJP's Lok Sabha poll plans in top gear

Jan 29, 2024 09:20 AM IST

With the 2024 general election approaching, the BJP and the Opposition are bracing themselves to take on each other in the polling booths.

The race for 2024 Lok Sabha elections has started, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and the Opposition are pulling out all the stops. However, the momentum is currently with the ruling party.

Multiple reasons are attributed to momentum drifting in BJP's favour for now in the race for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.(PTI)
Multiple reasons are attributed to momentum drifting in BJP's favour for now in the race for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.(PTI)

The inauguration of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, one of the BJP's biggest clarion calls, the Supreme Court verdict on the abrogation of Article 370, fissures in the INDIA bloc and the political vortex in Bihar are all going in favour of the ruling party.

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A column in the UK's Guardian predicted has a hat trick for the BJP, citing political analysts. It looks like the plausible outcome given the country's current political landscape, it noted. Despite some resistance against the BJP in pockets of south and east India, the Opposition at the national level appears to be “weak” and “fragmented”.

Also read: After Mamata Banerjee, Nitish Kumar snub, INDIA bloc's Lok Sabha poll prospects take early and big hits

What gives the BJP a push in the momentum?

Supreme Court verdict on Article 370 abrogation

One of the poll planks for the BJP in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections was to abrogate the ‘special status’ of Jammu and Kashmir by repealing Article 370 of the Constitution. It did that on August 6, 2019. The Supreme Court upheld the government's decision on December 11, 2023.

The apex court's verdict gave a big boost to the BJP, while dealing a blow to Oppositon, which had targeted ruling party on the decision.

Much of the BJP's victory after the verdict could be attributed to the difference of opinion among the INDIA bloc members. One of its members, the Aam Aadmi Party, supported revoking Article 370 in 2019. Meanwhile, the Left had been urging the reinstatement of the special status, slightly contrary to Congress' stance. Although opposed to the central government's move, the Congress never demanded that the article be re-implemented.

Ram temple inauguration

It was the BJP's long-term promise to build a Ram temple in Ayodhya. The temple consecration has galvanised voters across the country, which according to some political strategists may convert into 400-plus seats for the party in the Lok Sabha with a 50% vote share – a goal set out by Union home minister Amit Shah during the last year of his tenure as party president.

The positioning of PM Modi at the core of the Ram temple construction has played its part. From laying the foundation stone to attending the temple's consecration ceremony as the ‘yajman’, the prime minister is what the BJP claims the frontrunner in the ongoing march in India's economic, political and strategic arenas in line with the religious fervour.

Rift in INDIA bloc

The Opposition's aim to take on the BJP in the upcoming national election seems to have taken a hit after the Congress, one of the key members of the INDIA bloc, met with unprecedented roadblocks in West Bengal during the ongoing Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra. INDIA bloc ally Trinamool Congress and the state unit of Congress are at loggerheads over seat-sharing talks for the general elections, prompting Mamata Banerjee to “go it alone” in the state for the polls.

Meanwhile, another ally, the Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab, is reluctant to come to a mid-point with Congress over seat-sharing, further widening the rift within the coalition.

But the INDIA bloc was dealt a major blow on Sunday when its convenor JD(U) chief Nitish Kumar dissolved the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ coalition in the state and resigned as the CM, and went with the BJP.

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