Modi’s BJP wins three state polls in north India - GulfToday

Modi’s BJP wins three state polls in north India

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

India’s ruling party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won three of the state elections with clear victory margins. Of the three states where it had won, it came back to power in Rajasthan and in Chhattisgarh after losing power in 2018. It had lost the 2018 polls in Madhya Pradesh too in 2018, but it came back to office in 2020 when the Congress party lost its majority in 2020. In these three north Indian states, where Hindi, the national language is spoken, the BJP had defeated its traditional rival, the Congress. The fourth state, Telangana, in south India, was won by the Congress, defeating the regional party, Bharata Rashtra Samithi (BRS).

These elections are seen as setting trend for the parliamentary elections in the summer of 2024. The BJP has been in power since 2014 with Modi as prime minister. It had won the 2014 and 2019 national elections, and it hopes to score a hat-trick by winning the third in a row in 2024. Modi is seen as the mascot of the BJP, who had brought the BJP to power at the national level after 10 years of Congress rule. The Congress had defeated the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in 2004 and it was re-elected in 2009.

Elections in India, both at the national and provincial levels, are complicated processes because of the millions of voters involved in each state. The Election Commission of India has to make elaborate preparations in setting the dates because of the security arrangements in each province. It is a coincidence that in the three north Indian states for which the provincial assembly election results have been announced, Hindi is spoken by the majority of the people.

In the fourth, Telangana, Telugu and Urdu are the two main languages. Language is one of the defining characteristics of each state or province. And the social composition in each state is different from the other. So, politics and party rivalries in the provinces acquire a different colour, and they make for an interesting study for political scientists. And the parties have to prepare differently for the state elections.

The BJP and the Congress are the two national parties, that is, they have a strong electoral presence in more than one state. Right now, the Congress party which was a dominant party from the 1950s to the 1980s has declined, and its place has now been taken by the BJP. The Congress now is in power in three states in the country, while the BJP is in power in 10 states spread across the country, from west to east, apart from being in power at the Centre or at the national level. Regional parties are in power in nine states. The competition between political parties, between the two national parties, between the regional parties, and between the national regional parties is intense, and keeps political leaders of all parties on their toes at election time.

Prime Minister Modi has provided a strong leadership to the BJP in the last decade both at the centre and in the states. The party has lost state elections, and it has won back some of them as it did on Sunday. The state elections are seen as indicating the mood of the people which could be reflected at the national level.

Political experts are of the view that the victory in the three Hindi-speaking states is a strong indication that the BJP is on a strong wicket as it were for the 2024 parliamentary election. In the Indian federal system comprising the centre and the states, the party in power in the Centre can be different from the parties in power in the states. India remains a complicated political pluralist set-up.

Related articles