LUCKNOW: Will the loss in 130 assembly seats in UP polls last year have any impact on BJP’s electoral prospects in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections? Although the Lok Sabha polls have an altogether different political scenario, yet the BJP think tank is learnt to be accounting the losses in 2022 UP polls and its possible impact on its performance in the next parliamentary election.
Simple maths shows how it works. UP has 403 assembly seats and 80 Lok Sabha seats, effectively five assembly seats per Lok Sabha constituency. The loss in 130 assembly seats for BJP and its allies would thus mean loss in 26 Lok Sabha seats, 12 more than 2019 tally of lost seats.
Experts pointed out that a profound Narendra Modi wave helped BJP and its allies in winning 73 parliamentary seats from UP in 2014 and then 64 seats in 2019 general elections despite SP forging an alliance with BSP. The 2017 UP assembly elections also saw BJP-led NDA roundly decimating the opposition and winning 325 assembly seats (BJP: 312, AD: 9 and SBSP: 4).
The situation, however, may have changed a bit this time even as the opposition shows signs of resurgence, experts said. Home minister and party’s key strategist Amit Shah, who is scheduled to visit UP in mid-January, too, is learnt to be factoring all aspects, including party’s performance in 2022 assembly elections.
“Opposition’s resurrection, albeit partial, in the 2022 assembly elections will be cause of worry for the BJP. This may reflect in the form of BJP loosening its grip on the assembly constituencies which happen to be part of one or the other Lok Sabha seat,” said Prof SK Dwivedi, the former head of the political science department at Lucknow University. He said that BJP losing Khatauli assembly seat in Muzaffarnagar to SP-backed RLD during the recent by polls was a “serious” indicator that the saffron outfit needed to take into account. “This showed that not only the image of a party, but also the performance of an elected representative matters,” he said.
BJP sources affirmed that the party intends to recover its lost ground by expanding its organisational network and scaling up its people’s outreach. UP BJP spokesperson Rakesh Tripathi said that the party has framed a robust strategy to register a win at the mandal and booth level. “Our party leaders are keeping a close watch on these areas,” he said. BJP sources said that the party has deputed MLCs and Rajya Sabha MPs as ‘palak’ (party functionary to nurture a constituency) in assembly and Lok Sabha seats which it could not win in the past elections. “They have been tasked to take care of these constituencies and coordinate with the workers,” a senior BJP leader said.





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