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BJP’s Project 275 for 2014 – Part 1

June 1st, 2011 · 51 Comments

I wrote last week briefly about the need for BJP to change its focus from trying to get 175 seats in the next election in order to forma  government to aim for 275. Many of you wrote to me asking me to elaborate on the line of thinking. I will do so in a 3-part series.

Congress has a natural advantage in government formation at the Centre even if BJP is the largest party. As long as Cong gets around 150 and BJP doesn’t get more than 175-180 (and of course Cong + BJP is greater than 272 so no Third alternative comes in), it will be a Cong govt. I think the Cong realises this, and that is what explains their actions, smugness and confidence. The BJP leadership focus only seems to be on 175 (as it was even in 2009).

The goal for the BJP needs to change from trying to win 175 to winning 250-275. This point needs to be understood and agreed on. 175 seats will not get a BJP government in 2014. (This is because Congress has a greater pool of allies to choose from, and even if they win 150, they will be in a position to form a government with support from allies.) For 275, the focus needs to be either increasing geographical footprint in places it doesn’t exist, or increasing hit rate in seats the BJP contests. The former is a 10-year exercise, and the BJP should have started on that aggressively in 1998-99. It didn’t, and now the best it can hope for on that front is some results in 2024.

So, the focus on increasing hit rate in seats. This is about creating a “sweep” or a wave. The question and focus needs to be on how that can be orchestrated that in the next elections in 2014.

Continued tomorrow.

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51 responses so far ↓

  • 1 vicharak // Jun 1, 2011 at 6:26 am

    BJP’s dilemma arises from eventual conflict between it’s core constituency ( read RSS followers/ sympathizers) and intellectuals/liberals who want an alternative to Congress/dynastic rule but are liberal in their attitude. This is why alliances don’t work except for short duration. Everyone doesn’t have ABV’s image to keep flock together. LKA tried but was pulled down by his own followers. No strategy would work unless this dilemma is resolved.

  • 2 StatSpotting // Jun 1, 2011 at 10:13 am

    Curious to know, how will a wave be created unless there is another ram temple scale event.

  • 3 manivannan // Jun 1, 2011 at 11:42 am

    I am spectical about these 3 year plans. BJP should concentrate in UP and make sure congress doesn’t gain. This will make Rahul leadership impossible and dynasty control over congress will wane. Congress will become leaderless and BJP presenting Modi as leader will create a big wave.

    In TN, Andhra, Mah, kerala, Rajasthan where congress got half of its seats its influence is going down. BJP should tactically align or compete to minimize congress seats in these states and bring down its tally to below 120. Even in Gujarat and Delhi the congress tally is 19 which can be brought down to single digits.

  • 4 Satyam Bachani // Jun 1, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    Mr. L.K. Advani needs to pass the baton now!, I guess everyone wants Mr. Modi to take over from a long time but I doubt its ever gonna happen.

    He’d be too autocratic for everyones comfort level. The next best person would be Mr. Arun Jaitley who should be projected as the face for the party.

    I’d like to think more or less there should be consensus internally on it barring a few.

    There has been no better time in the recent past to capitalize on a opportunity as this for the BJP, it’d be a shame if they let it go waste.

  • 5 NK // Jun 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    No matter what, BJP can’t form the govt in the center unless it gets at least 35 seats from UP. And that is possible only when they get around at least 150 seats in coming UP assembly elections. Last time, I think it was Rajnath Singh who was in charge of the elections. And it was a debacle.

    No matter who campaigns in UP (including Modi), unless they have a credible leader, they won’t be able to cross 100 (best case scenario). They need to project a real leader. My suggestion would be to project Modi for UP CM, assuming he agrees for the challenge. In that case around 20% UP muslims would vote for the party whoever is in the best position to defeat BJP, but it would also lead to a counter consolidation of Hindus. I understand this is a gamble, but now this gamble has to be taken. There is no other way, even if Modi wins in Gujarat in 2012 (which he will). If BJP wins by such a gamble, it would pave the way for 2014, if not, my understanding is that it would lead to at least a huge gain and BJP would have launched Modi for a national role (since he won’t go back to Gujarat). Another factor is UP has a huge population of OBCs and Modi is one.

    Modi for UP(2012), Modi for India (2014).

  • 6 Anish Tripathi // Jun 1, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    I actually love NK’s idea about projecting NaMo for UP CM! It is a huge challenge and he may not make it, but if he carries it off, then 2012 PM is confirmed. In any case, the Non-muslim vote in UP will consolidate and he can block off any challenger, even Mayawati. Risky but best Idea I have heard in a long time.

    One more point, I think the BJP must institutionalize the primaries concept for selecting PM / CM candidates. The process of getting registered voters and then getting them to select the candidate will get rid of the factionalism which is pulling BJP apart right now.

  • 7 manoj // Jun 1, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    yes, rather than forming a gov in center, if BJP continue to focus on it’s strength and go with full swing without worrying much about the allies, they may be able to form a gov.
    But the problem is, they concentrate more on forming a gov ( and i guess, discuss more about who will handle which dept. ) rather than how to reach there…
    In last election also, when India faced so many terror attacks, they had a golden opportunity but they could not make it, as they were not able to suggest any better solution.

  • 8 ramesh // Sep 20, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    use jaitly as leader andget educated on bjp side and use modi as finance and home minister, because in coallition modi will be ineffective, hence make it suitable to get going than gamble, i believe in gamble but not on sure thing to happen can happen without gambling then doit

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