In the recently concluded assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) performed below its expectations as the party was unable to retain some of the seats it had won in 2014 state polls.
While the party lost 19 seats in Maharashtra, in Haryana BJP lost 7 seats. To further aggravate the situation for the party, 20 rebel candidates of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) won in Maharashtra while in Haryana the number of rebel candidates who won on their own was 5.
"This result could be an outcome of overconfidence. The party had anticipated that results would be different. If we look at Haryana, BJP has only lost 7 seats but the party was denied a majority," said a senior BJP leader who was part of the election strategy.
Senior leaders of the BJP also point out that the outcome of the assembly elections is also worrisome because during the 2019 general elections five months back, BJP and Shiv Sena had won 41 out of the 48 Lok Sabha seats while in Haryana the party had managed to win all the 10 seats.
BJP leaders point out that in areas of Rohtak, Jhajjar and Jind, the party lost most of the seats to Congress while in some areas alliance partner Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) won a few seats.
"The party will have to rethink it's strategy in Haryana because it seems that the Jat community chose to vote for other political parties more in comparison to BJP. The social engineering of the party needs a rethink," the BJP leader added.
Members of the BJP also point out that the victory of dissidents in both Maharashtra and Haryana suggests problems in the selection of candidates.
"There were more than 50 rebel candidates of NDA in Maharashtra alone. The candidates contested an independents and damaged the prospects of BJP and Shiv Sena candidates," the BJP leader added.