Poll strategist-turned-activist Prashant Kishor on December 4 argued that the BJP’s victories in the recent elections go beyond relying on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image, adding that Opposition parties must first understand the party’s strengths in order to best it.
Addressing media persons as part of his ongoing Jan Suraaj campaign in Singwara block of Darbhanga district, Mr. Kishor said, “The four reasons BJP got votes and won poll in three States are: first, Hindutva which is their [BJP] ideology; second is the new Nationalism; third is BJP’s financial and organisational muscle power, and the fourth is Lavarthi Yojna (beneficiaries programmes) of the party.”
“BJP doesn’t get the vote on the fluctuating graph [popularity] of Modi. People have to understand this,” he added, going to explain how these four factors have been helping the saffron party score in elections.
“To defeat the BJP, you [Opposition parties] have to have a better alternative in at least three out of these four components. Else, out of 10 times, you’ll have to face defeat seven-eight times”, he said.
Addressing the Congress party, he said, “You have to have better lavarthi yonja for the people, better organisational structure and power or you have to have better nationalist or better ideology than Hindutva. In fact, you have to have a better model than BJP in these three components”.
“[People] says Congress won in Karnataka and Telangana but the fact is those wins were because people of these two States wanted to vote against the [incumbent] government and the Congress party was the only [other] party there, so they voted for Congress,” he suggested, adding that it was the anti-incumbency against the KCR government that fetched Congress its victory in Telangana
Mr. Kishor had earlier pointed to an anti-incumbency sentiment in Bihar as well. “According to a survey, 50-55% people of the State are looking for a new [political] alternative. People don’t know which party will be that alternative but they do know that whichever parties are in the present time, Bihar is not going to be reformed by them,” he had said.
“With my 15 months of experience with the ongoing campaign, I can say that about 2,000-2,500 people are connecting with Jan Suraaj from every block and when this padyatra (foot march) ends, there will be one crore people associated with it as founder members,” he said on December 2 while visiting Jale block in Darbhanga.
Meanwhile, leaders of the ruling JD(U) questioned the Congress about its defeat in elections in three States. “If the Congress party would have taken the other partners of Opposition INDIA (Indian National Developmental, Inclusive Alliance) they would not have to face such defeats,” Minister Vijay Choudhary said.
His Cabinet colleague and party leader Ashok Choudhary even remarked, “Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has all the qualities of becoming the Prime Minister of the country.”
However, senior BJP leader and party’s Rajya Sabha member Sushil Kumar Modi countered them, saying “the ruling JD(U)-RJD should not be in any confusion as had the Opposition parties fought the elections together, the result would have been the same.”
“In 2024, the BJP will come to power again, for the third time at the Centre with a huge mandate,” he added.