Lok Sabha Election

Analysis: How the BJP won the 2019 General elections

The ruling BJP-led NDA alliance has won another term at the Centre. Congress president Rahul Gandhi conceded the election, and in a press conference on May 23, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his win.

Mr. Modi’s personality was the overarching theme of the winning campaign and in him was personified strident Hindutva nationalism. A newly-added national security narrative enhanced further the consolidation of a Hindu vote bank, that makes caste calculations irrelevant. He could successfully sidestep any debate on the last five years of his government’s performance. The Congress’ NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) campaign hardly had any resonance on the ground.

This election also saw the highest-ever vote share for the BJP. The BJP-led coalition (with the Shiv Sena, the Janata Dal (United), the Shiromani Akali Dal, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam among others) won a cumulative vote share of nearly 45%, which is higher than what the NDA got in 2014 — 38%.

A few States held their own. The BJP, which had sensed a “golden opportunity” in the Sabarimala issue following the Supreme Court order that permitted women to offer prayers at the hill shrine, had partially succeeded in playing the Hindu card. Though the campaign succeeded in consolidating the votes of a large number of caste Hindus including the NSS and a section of the the Backward Caste communities against the State government and the CPI(M), the BJP could not propel any of its candidates to victory.

The Left Democratic Front in Kerala also saw crushing defeat. The LDF was forced to be content with one seat, Alappuzha. The ruling coalition lost its traditional bastions such as Alathur, Palakkad, Kannur, Kasargod, Vadakara and Attingal. Right from the launch of the campaign itself, the LDF had been expecting to retain at least three seats in the south, and sustain its unchallenged supremacy in north Kerala.

In Tamil Nadu, an anti-Modi wave has swept a significant majority of the seats towards the DMK alliance in the State. These results seem to have surpassed the expectations of even the Opposition alliance in the State, which did expect to do well, but not so well.

The saffron surge in Karnataka did not spare even the traditional strongholds of coalition partners Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) in Old Mysore region, leaving the alliance virtually in tatters.

The triumph of BJP in many parts of Old Mysore region has served to expose the chinks in the electoral partnership between Congress and JD(S).

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which scored a landslide victory in the recently held Assembly elections, has suffered a setback in the parliamentary polls. The ruling party in Telangana was hopeful of securing 16 of the 17 Lok Sabha seats but the trends so far indicate that it may not cross the half-way mark of its anticipated number. The BJP and the Congress, which faced a humiliating defeat in the Assembly elections held in December 2018, have sprung a surprise with both likely to bag four seats each.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 12:33:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/lok-sabha-2019/analysis-how-the-bjp-won-the-2019-general-elections/article27224009.ece

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