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Reasons for BJP’s landslide victory in state polls 2022

IndiaReasons for BJP's landslide victory in state polls 2022

With weaker foundations, it was a prerequisite for all the Opposition parties to be united to defeat BJP.

In the assembly polls 2022, BJP achieved a stunning victory while retaining four states leading to points where the Opposition failed

During the assembly polls 2022, there are many points to ponder over regarding the massive losses the Opposition parties incurred while they were geared to win the elections. There are many opinions shared as to why they lost.

During the aftermath of the elections, the lamenting Opposition is viewing their grim losses and trying to figure out what went wrong. Commentators give laborious theories while the blame game goes around and parties are trying to “introspect” their failure.

Six Reasons for the Oppositions’ Loss

1. The Opposition had Weaker Foundations

I would view the outcome of the 2022 Assembly polls, particularly as the Opposition’s big loss rather than BJP’s great victory because while BJP maintained themselves strongly as a party holding its fort weathering stormy election winds, while the Opposition party on shakier grounds had three to four alliances. With weaker foundations, it was a prerequisite for all the Opposition parties to be united to defeat BJP. However, disunity was pretty evident during this election.

2. Polarity Worked for BJP

Some people were comparing the 2022 election with the West Bengal election, but there is no comparison between the two. For example, the entire Muslim party will vote for a single party and thus win. However, the scenario was completely different in Uttar Pradesh because, in Bengal, Hindu voters were against BJP, did not want the party, and were absolutely not comfortable with BJP, especially Hindu Bengali voters but in UP, Hindu voters completely embraced BJP.

3. The Opposition Not Focused on Vote Bank

The Opposition was not focused on their vote bank. In fact, Priyanka Gandhi came campaigning to Uttar Pradesh just a few months before the elections. Party leaders would need to identify and clearly focus on their vote bank. Akhilesh Yadav, it is observed, has failed to attract Yadav voters including more than the 27% backward castes and Dalits.

Strangely, while the scheduled castes and Dalits did not originally trust the BJP, their party’s networking and outreach to them have ultimately managed to win their hearts, whether temporarily or for the long term, and stunningly, these sections of people have voted for the BJP! The groundwork of the BJP is outstandingly powerful.

4.  Congress – what goes wrong with the Grand Old Party?

Congress has not gained much since the last election, but they have just 2  seats In Uttar Pradesh, where Priyanka Gandhi Vadra was vigorously campaigning, the Congress managed to get just two out of 403 seats and only 2.4 percent of the votes. The question rises in most minds, what is going wrong with the Grand Old Party?

They are clearly losing grip of the party due to many reasons but in particular, concerning the elections, they slipped. The main factor that is advocated by people is that Congress is disconnected from the common people. Most of the leaders enjoy sitting in their air-conditioned luxury rooms without any relationship with the common people, unlike the Left, Aam Aadmi, and Samajwadi Parties who are very interrelational with the common people.  BJP is especially skilled in this sphere where they work hard from the bottom and are robust foot soldiers.

5. AIMIM – their outreach on the ground level is next to zero

Asaduddin Owaisi, President of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen has often been accused repeatedly of cutting into Congress and other party votes. In fact, political parties have often hysterically blamed him and AIMIM for contributing to BJP’s win by setting out their own party.

There is a huge social media frenzy with data showing AIMIM’s vote share cutting the Samajwadi Party’s votes and contributing to the BJP’s win but they may have deliberately forgotten to include vote-share of Congress, BSP, and other parties, which may have contributed to the BJP candidates’ victory.

In fact, during this election, top politician Sanjay Raut from the Shiv Sena party expressed this accusation once again when he sarcastically said, “Mayawati, Owaisi should be given Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna for BJP’s win in UP.”

However, in terms of the electorate, it is not true because and an unfair indictment as in most of the seats, AIMIM has even lost their deposit clearly indicating that people have not voted for them. There were just around 0.43% votes for Owaisi’s AIMIM in the Uttar Pradesh polls and the fact is out of 100 seats in UP, AIMIM lost in 99 seats.

Perhaps Owaisi and AIMIM did not expect such a massive loss but they have the same weaknesses as the Congress party where they are not connected with the common people and their outreach on the ground level is next to zero. While they carry out passionate speeches, the hard truth is speeches cannot convert to solid votes to secure assembly seats.

However, Owaisi succeeded in two counts: a) Convincing the Muslims that they have been tricked by some secular parties including Congress into believing that only they would save them.  b) Convincing the Muslims that they need their own Muslim leadership to stand for them rather than believing in Akhilesh Yadav or other leaders such as Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal or Tejashwi Yadav and others.

It would take a long time for AIMIM to reach a significant place and it would not happen in just a few years. It took BJP a hundred years to reach a central position, (earlier was Janata Dal formed in October 1988) whereby the parent organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was established in 1925. Thus AIMIM would take time to garner a more central stronger position in politics.

6. Freebies and Handouts Versus Solid Schemes

The Opposition while talking about a lot of freebies and handouts such as scooties, smartphones, free electricity, and the like seemed to ignore the growing troubles of the masses. These were quick fixes and nothing solid, it seemed.  There does not seem to be concrete talk about development such as NREGA, pension, housing, and while pluralism should be the core of India, certain parties are diluting pluralism, and polarization and confusion are the new shifting sands that perhaps will keep many voters going NOTA or abstaining from exercising their franchise. In all this, the BJP wins!

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