The lotus in bloom: BJP is the odds-on favourite for 2024

The BJP not only retained power in Madhya Pradesh with an emphatic win, it unseated the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. (HT_PRINT)
The BJP not only retained power in Madhya Pradesh with an emphatic win, it unseated the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. (HT_PRINT)

Summary

  • The PM’s appeal endures across heartland states, Sunday’s poll results suggest, while the Congress party’s key plank looks wobbly with general elections due soon.

Just-held state elections have gone the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) way, with India’s ruling party winning three of the four states for which results were announced on Sunday, including impressive sweeps in two. The BJP not only retained power in Madhya Pradesh with an emphatic win, it unseated the Congress in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. So, its sway over this vast geographical belt looks quite secure. The fourth state, Telangana, is in south India and saw the Congress oust the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS), which had led an agitation for this state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh. 

This offers the Congress consolation, but at the national level, its stature within the ‘INDIA’ opposition front has been dealt a blow. Not just that, the grand old party’s Mandal II turn appears to have made little impact, else gains among Other Backward Class (OBC) voters would have meant a better showing. So far, the clarion call for a caste census and quotas in proportion to group-wise headcounts has not shown electoral appeal. In states like Chhattisgarh, corruption allegations might also have hit Congress fortunes, as it was seen as a front-runner there not so long ago. 

For those looking for clues to the 2024 national elections, the message of these results is clear: the BJP remains, by far, the odds-on favourite to win another majority in Parliament next year, with no credible challenge in sight to its grip on power. The popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of course, plays a role in this that can hardly be overstated. It’s a remarkably rare political phenomenon.

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