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  India   All India  28 May 2018  BJP confident of win in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sees tally going up

BJP confident of win in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, sees tally going up

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : May 28, 2018, 4:24 am IST
Updated : May 28, 2018, 4:42 am IST

The Opposition bandying together at the swearing-in of JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy certainly did not seem to have fazed the BJP.

The BJP feels the coming together of Opposition parties will be of little consequence as it is mostly a grouping of regional parties that do not have any influence outside their state. (Representational Image)
 The BJP feels the coming together of Opposition parties will be of little consequence as it is mostly a grouping of regional parties that do not have any influence outside their state. (Representational Image)

New Delhi: Heading into the election year, the BJP is supremely confident of victory in 2019, and sees its tally going up in many states like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and even Kerala.

The BJP feels the coming together of Opposition parties will be of little consequence as it is mostly a grouping of regional parties that do not have any influence outside their state.

Against this mood, the BJP made light of a recent survey by Lokniti-CSDS which said it was losing ground and popularity.

At an off-the-record interaction with non-Delhi-based newspapers at one of the gatherings to celebrate four years in power, a top leader in the BJP shrugged off the survey and said that it was impossible to predict the mood of the nation one year in advance of the elections. He said the BJP had set its mind on doing a lot more before the polls came around.

When it was pointed out that the three states going to polls later this year — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh — did not really have a year, he said he was confident that the BJP would retain the states.

He agreed that the party faced the anti-incumbency factor in MP. “But it was predicted in the last elections as well that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan would lose but he returned victorious,” he said.

On the unity of the NDA, after the exit of the Telugu Desam, the BJP believes there is nothing to worry. The BJP believes that even the Shiv Sena, despite its open disagreement, will sail together. The two parties are pitted against each other in the upcoming Palghar Lok Sabha byelection which is crucial to the BJP given that it is two seats short of majority in the Lok Sabha. “Even in 2014 we only had a post-poll alliance,” he said.

The Opposition bandying together at the swearing-in of JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy certainly did not seem to have fazed the BJP. Few of those parties have been part of the NDA except for the TD.

“How does it help to have Mamata or Mayawati campaign in Karnataka? What gains can be made if Kumaraswamy campaigns for Mamata,” is the argument to drive home the point that the regional leaders are overreaching themselves and have no constituency outside their respective states.

As an aside, the BJP was not comfortable that Karnataka BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa had said he was not against the Congress but against the Gowda father-and-son pair. The leader laughed and responded, “Yes without the father and son duo the Congress would not be in power!”

With Karnataka out of its hands for now, the BJP will be focusing on Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state. The BJP is clear that there will be no pre-poll alliance in the two states.

BJP president Amit Shah is headed to the Telugu states and is confident of improving the BJP tally vastly in the Lok Sabha elections.

The party is dismissive of the charges laid against it by AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. The BJP does not believe that denying Andhra Pradesh Special Category Status will diminish its popularity. The party is clear that AP could get funds from the Centre only against spending. When drafts for Amaravati are still being drawn in Singapore and there is not a brick laid, the Centre could not release funds. “The government will release the funds as and when work begins,” he said.

Mr Naidu’s charge that `44,000 crore was going towards making Dholera in Gujarat a Smart City against `2,500 crore for Amaravati was dismissed outright. The government is not building any new city nor releasing funds for it in Gujarat, he said.

On the concerns of the southern states that the 15th Finance Commission was being unfair by alloting them lesser funds than the BIMARU states though their contribution in terms of taxes was higher, it was indicated that these would likely be addressed as the issues were before the Finance Commission.

The BJP seemed confident about the strides it was making in Kerala and West Bengal. The party is clear that it would win 22 seats in West Bengal and would spring a huge surprise in Kerala.

The troubling part is that the BJP does not believe that the campaign of threats and rapes against its critics is dangerous. It is dismissed lightly as something people in villages face routinely. In other words it will have no negative impact on the polls.

Tags: 2019 lok sabha polls, shivraj singh chauhan, amit shah
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi