BJP Internal Survey Concedes Trailing SP-Congress

Friday, February 17, 2017

Voting in western Uttar Pradesh done, the initial assessment of the BJP is that the party might not have done as well as it had hoped, leaders admit. For the upcoming phases, the party’s primary target will be retaining the support it had gained in 2014 among non-Yadav OBCs and farmers of central and eastern UP.

Citing internal surveys, BJP leaders now say Modi’s “image” and the “goodwill” he enjoys remains the party’s “biggest advantage”, whereas the local leadership and the organisation have failed to retain the trust they had won among people, including in traditional support bases.

In 2014, 26 of the BJP’s 28 OBC candidates had won. Keshav Prasad Maurya, the party’s state president, is an OBC leader. If a combine of non-Jatav Dalits (Pasi and Valmiki) and non-Yadav OBCs stand by the BJP, leaders say, “nothing can stop the BJP from forming the government”. What the BJP is hoping against is the possible consolidation of Muslims behind one side. The party wants to see the Muslim vote divided between the SP-Congress and the BSP. With Mayawati having fielded an unprecedented 97 Muslim candidates, BJP leaders are optimistic thar Muslims will not vote en masse for the SP-Congress.

A different calculation, however, has left them wary about the SP-Congress. The alliance has created an impression of bringing forward and backward castes together, the BJP leaders say, worrying if it could break into the BJP’s traditional support base. “Brahmins and Thakurs, who have been voting for the BJP, may look at this combination as a prospective winner.

Read the full article: HERE

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