Impact of by-polls on BJP
The anatomy of the outcome of the lately held bypolls in the country has set to teach lessons for both the opposition and the BJP. An introspection of the by-poll results showcases why losses of BJP could end up helping Modi to the utmost degree of reasoning. It was BJP’s losing streak in byelections. It is an interesting paradox because while BJP is at the pinnacle of its prowess and strength, it also had to face a surprisingly vulnerable setback underbelly.
At this juncture, we can say that by-polls can hardly work as a barometer for assessing the election trends of the upcoming Assembly and Lok-Sabha elections. There is even a support to this view from few political scientists. Bypolls do hold several lessons that the BJP and the opposition parties would do well to consider. Keeping these lessons in mind, it is possi-
ble to suggest two hypotheses. These are but mere assumptions based on past and current political trends.
The first hypothesis suggesting that the opposition has worked out a formula to challenge the BJP juggernaut which is a force to reckon with is obvious. The early shoots of this strategy were visible during the Phulpur and Gorakhpur byelections. It was strengthened during the post poll alliance that denied BJP power in Karnataka. In Noorpur and Kairana, the by-election strategy has been so designed that the caste and community arithmetic was carefully hammered out.
In Uttar Pradesh’s Kairana, for example, which the BJP took as a prestige fight and ran an intense campaign led by Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath, the SP fielded a Muslim candidate whose family wields enormous clout in the constituency, in order to represent the Jat based party of RLD.
This kind of strategy employed by the Samajwadi Party (SP) was aimed at renewing the Jat-Muslim consolidation, a factor behind success of RLD in western Uttar Pradesh since a long time. This strategy of SP had led to the success of RLD candidate in Kairana by defeating the BJP candidate despite the party’s intense campaign. Despite this being a most prestigious election issue in UP, the BJP had to swallow a bitter pill following the setback prompting a feather in the Opposition’s cap.
— Bh. Indu Sekhar