Ram Mandir, Article 370…yet this is the situation! 7 reasons why BJP is surprised

Ananya Shroff
10 Min Read


New Delhi : Counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections is underway. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slogan of 'Abki Baar 400 Paar' has been shattered. Thankfully, after 20 years, BJP and NDA have been able to repeat their 'feel good' and 'India Shining' moment. The trends show NDA getting a majority but BJP is at least 30-35 votes behind the magic figure of 272. This is when BJP's agenda of building a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya has been completed. When BJP's promise of abolishing the special status given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 has been fulfilled. If these trends turn into results, then Prime Minister Narendra Modi can perform the miracle of coming to power for the third consecutive time after the first PM Jawaharlal Nehru, but this is not possible without the support of the alliance. After BJP losing absolute majority, if he forms the government for the third time under the alliance, then he will have to be at the mercy of JDU chief Nitish Kumar and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu. Nitish, who has earned the name 'Paltu Chacha' due to frequent alliance changes, is insisting that he will not leave NDA, but discussions have started about him. There is also a discussion that Nitish Kumar is being offered the post of Deputy Prime Minister by India Alliance. Efforts are also being made to persuade Naidu. So what were the reasons that went against BJP, let us understand.Overconfidence!
Overconfidence can also be said to be a major reason for the setback suffered by the BJP. It seems that the slogan 'Abki Baar 400 Paar' backfired. Due to the atmosphere created after the construction of Ram temple and no sign of public resentment against the Modi government, the BJP became a victim of overconfidence. Just like it suffered a setback in 2004 due to overconfidence in the form of 'feel good' and 'India shining' during the time of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Despite the BJP's excellent performance in states like Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and even opening its account for the first time in Kerala, its seats seem to be less than last time. The reason is that it suffered losses in states like UP, Rajasthan, Haryana and West Bengal. Even in the Prime Minister's home state Haryana, this time the BJP could not repeat the magic of 'perfect 26', whereas in 2014 and 2019 the party had captured all the seats there. In the noise of 'Abki Baar 400 Paar', it is possible that like the BJP, some of its supporters also fell prey to the illusion that they were going to win and did not bother to reach the polling booth. The BJP will have to review this. The BJP was confident of a landslide victory this time. So confident that this time it did not announce any scheme benefiting any section before the elections. Last time PM Kisan Samman Nidhi was announced but this time the Modi government did not announce any such scheme. On one hand the opposition alliance made populist promises, on the other hand the BJP relied on 'Modi ki Guarantee', which perhaps did not work as well this time. There was also a 10-year anti-incumbency trend on the ground, which the BJP failed to sense.

Ram Mandir issue did not help
This was the first Lok Sabha election after the construction of the grand Ram temple in Ayodhya, UP. After centuries of waiting, the dream of temple construction was fulfilled. The Prana Pratishtha ceremony took place with great pomp on January 22. The kind of atmosphere that prevailed in the entire country including UP at that time, BJP must have hoped to benefit from it. This was the reason why the party kept trying to take credit for the construction of the temple even during the elections. Despite this, BJP suffered heavy losses in UP. Looking at the trends, it seems that the construction of Ram temple did not benefit BJP. Even from Faizabad Lok Sabha seat, under which Ayodhya falls, the BJP candidate lost. It seems that a good portion of those who voted for BJP last time were happy with the construction of Ram temple, but were more angry with the party for other reasons.

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The opposition's narrative of 'reservation, constitution in danger' worked
The opposition expressed fear of 'reservation ending', 'constitution ending'. The Bharat Alliance repeatedly said that if BJP comes to power again, dictatorship will come. 'Reservation ending' will happen. 'Constitution ending' will happen. BJP needs more than 400 seats so that it can change the constitution. It can end reservation. Whether it is Rahul Gandhi or Akhilesh Yadav or any other big leader of the alliance, they kept saying this from their respective platforms. BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi tried their best to break this narrative of the opposition but it seems that they were not completely successful in it.

BJP's Pasmanda card fails
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying his best to attract Muslims towards BJP since his second term. Muslims have benefited the most from the welfare schemes run by the Modi government, which was also promoted by the BJP leaders themselves. A special campaign was launched to woo the Pasmanda Muslims, but this card of BJP has flopped especially in UP. Even after the SP-BSP joined hands in 2019, the NDA managed to win 64 seats in UP. This time SP and Congress were together. The Grand Old Party was considered very weak in the state, despite this, the SP-Congress alliance has performed tremendously this time. The reason behind this performance is the one-sided voting of Muslim votes in favor of Bharat Gathbandhan.

UP's 'do ladke ki jodi' is superhit this time
This time in UP, the 'two boys pair' (Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav) has been a superhit. In the 2017 assembly elections, SP and Congress came together but then the pair of these two boys from UP flopped. This time it did not happen. This pair campaigned together in UP. Claims like giving 1 lakh rupees annually to women and eradicating poverty 'in a short time' were made. The public was shown fears like 'the Constitution will end', 'reservation will be in danger' and 'dictatorship' will come. Slogans like 'Remove BJP, save the country' were given, which had an impact on the voters and BJP's seats seem to be decreasing compared to last time.

Agnipath scheme with Agniveer, youth angry over repeated paper leaks!
A major reason for the decline in BJP's performance is its below-expected performance in UP, the biggest state in political terms. Rahul Gandhi made Agniveer's Agneepath scheme a big issue. He promised that he would end this scheme as soon as he came to power. In UP, Rahul and Akhilesh repeatedly made paper leak and unemployment a big issue and tried their best to cash in on the anger of the youth. Many papers were leaked in UP in the election year itself. The UP Police Recruitment Exam paper was leaked, the UPSC RO ARO exam paper was leaked, the UP Board papers of some subjects were also leaked. The youth were angry about this and the opposition aggressively cornered the BJP on this issue. This can also be a big reason behind BJP's disappointing performance in UP.

Irregularities in ticket distribution, cannot win on the basis of Modi's name alone!
There is a big message hidden in the election results and trends for BJP that elections cannot be won only on the name of Narendra Modi. The shine of 'Brand Modi' has faded. 'Modi Magic' has faded. Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself has won the election from his seat Varanasi by a very small margin compared to the last time. The public's resentment against the candidates at the local level has probably cost BJP heavily. To reduce the public's resentment against the MPs at the local level, BJP not only cut the tickets of many sitting MPs, but also gave tickets to a large number of turncoats. Every fourth candidate of BJP was a turncoat. Perhaps this cost the party heavily.

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