BJP Must Introspect Why They Are Losing State Elections!
Going by the latest trends in Delhi elections, BJP is on the verge of losing sixth state on the trot in last one year.
As per Election Commission of India website, the latest trend shows BJP is getting 7 seats, while AAP is poised to win 63.
Before Delhi, BJP had lost Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Though BJP-Shiv Sena alliance got a comfortable majority in Maharashtra Assembly poll, the Sena severed the ties with its old ally over power-sharing issue and joined hands with Congress and National Congress Party to form the government.
The BJP had managed to save Haryana from slipping away from its hold after they forged a post-alliance with fledgling Jannayak Janata Party leader Dushyant Chautala and Independents.
The BJP leadership should brainstorm to find out the reasons for its debacle even after getting a massive mandate in 2019 general elections.
The reason is not far-fetched. The BJP leadership has been repeatedly committing mistakes in its choice of its chief ministerial candidate.
Expectedly, the party should have realised this mistake after its debacle in Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. Manoj Tiwari of the BJP, who was the preferred chief ministerial candidate, was not the first choice of voters in Delhi.
In Rajsthan and Chhattisgarh, Vasundhara Raje and Raman Singh were unpopular candidates ahead of the polls. The Sangh cadre and BJP workers were unhappy over the inaccessibility of these two leaders.
Raghubar Das, Jharkhand’s chief ministerial candidate, also suffered from the same image, which alienated both allies and leaders within the party, which was clear from the resignation of several leaders, including Sarayu Rai.
The party also lost after party’s chief whip Radhakrishna Kishore switched sides to AJSU.
Secondly, BJP leadership’s strategy of appointing chief ministers from non-dominant communities in states is not yielding results, though it is a good idea to do away with caste politics.
Tiwari is supported by BJP and has no individual standing in politics and is merely part of game plan to woo Poorvanchal voters. Better chief ministerial face, instead, would have leaders like Shazia Ilmi, Kiran Bedi, Meenakshi Lekhi and Dr Harshvardhan, who are articulate politicians.
In Haryana too, BJP fielded ML Khattar a non-Jat community, who failed to fetch votes, but managed to retain power in Haryana only by pacifying the Jat dominated JJP.
In Jharkhand, the grand alliance targeted Das for his non-tribal status. In fact, the state BJP wanted Arjun Munda to be the chief ministerial face, as he was the most important tribal leader, but the central leadership blessed the inaccessible Das with second term.
Das had failed to forge pre-poll alliance with its allies – AJSU, LJP and JDU, who are NDA partners at the centre, because of Das, who was a very unpopular leader. In 2014 Jharkhand elections, BJP had allied with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) and won 43 of 81 assembly seats, defeating the grand Congress-RJD-JDU-JMM alliance.
The message for the BJP central leadership is clear. It must field a popular leader as chief ministerial candidates, especially when the party faces assembly polls in Delhi, Bihar and West Bengal.
Moreover, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah should take feedback from local leadership. If not, the BJP will face the same fate in future state elections.