1. For the BJP to form a govt at the Centre, it needs to focus winning not just 175 but 275 seats (or 225 + 45 with the three current NDA llies). Winning 275 needs a dramatically different strategy from trying to win 175. To get to 275 seats out of 350-odd seats, the BJP needs to ensure a “wave” election with a 75% hit rate. That needs to be focus of future efforts. A summation of state elections will only get us to 175-odd, and if the Congress manages 150, BJP will not be able to form the government.
2. A wave election last happened in India in 1984. BJP’s approach needs to be to work towards creating a wave in 2014 – across the country, and especially in the 330-350 seats where the BJP is competitive. No one, as far as I can tell, is thinking of what it takes to create a wave. 2014 may still be three years ago, but a lot of groundwork will need to be done to make this happen.
3. Switch focus from maximising allies to maximising seats for 2014. All strategy needs to be focused on this.
I think various factors are coming together to create the foundation of a possible wave election in 2014. For one, look at the 90% hit rates that have happened in places in Bihar, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. (Assam came quite close.) The same concerns and issues have resonated across a state. I believe that something similar can happen nationally in 2014.
Based on the above, the BJP’s focus needs to be to maximise seats and hit rate, and not maximise pre-poll allies.