New Delhi: The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned to power five years ago by winning most of the north Indian states. The states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra could define the performance of the union government in the Lok Sabha polls.
Interestingly, there are 259 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Chhattisgarh and the BJP had won 206 of the seats in these 7 states, which allowed it to get a comfortable majority of 282.
The importance of the seven states can be understood from the fact that these state comprise more than 47% of the Lok Sabha seats and the party which enjoys a better performance in the electoral battle would have a better chance of forming government at the Centre.
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The performance of the BJP will reflect on its poll strategy which was dominated by issues like national security, surgical strike, air strikes in Balakot, and the pro-poor moves of the government.
Out of these seven states, there are five states, excluding Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where BJP is in direct contest with Congress. The rivalry between the political arch-rivals was visible during the general elections and five months back Congress had defeated BJP in a direct contest in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh in December last year.
While the BJP is trying to win seats in newer areas of West Bengal, Odisha, northeast, and southern states, the performance of the party in north Indian states will important for the party to retain its dominance against the opposition in the Lok Sabha.