Clarity and purpose: On the BJP’s electoral juggernaut 

Success has not made the Bharatiya Janata Party complacent about political strategy and electoral tactics 

January 20, 2023 12:20 am | Updated 10:55 am IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has unveiled its road map for the next general election at its national executive which also extended the term of party president J.P. Nadda to June 2024. Under his presidency, the party’s electoral performance has been impressive, notwithstanding the recent loss in Himachal Pradesh, his home State. Mr. Nadda has termed the extension of his tenure a ‘privilege and honour’ and an ‘immense responsibility’. The power commanded by the president is dependent on the occupant in the BJP. Mr. Nadda draws his authority from the confidence he enjoys of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah who are the ultimate decision makers. This is not unprecedented for the party — A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani were more powerful than party presidents. The party has called upon its cadres to work towards winning all nine Assembly elections due in 2023. The BJP is in power, singlehandedly in Tripura and as part of coalitions in Nagaland and Meghalaya, three States for which elections were announced on Wednesday. The party is also trying to emerge as a serious contender for power in Telangana for the first time, retain power in the key States of Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, and recapture Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is also likely to have its first election in 2023, where the BJP is experimenting with a new brand of politics.

The BJP has said it practises “a politics of saturation and governance of saturation” — possibly alluding to the relentless campaigns around government schemes that target various constituencies. At the national executive, the party noted with glee that a series of controversies and missteps, from demonetisation to Goods and Services Tax, and the Rafale defence deal to Pegasus snooping, did not damage the party. It said all these were failed attempts by the Opposition to discredit the Modi government. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is trying to build a new politics against the BJP through his Bharat Jodo Yatra, but Opposition politics is caught in confusion and rivalries. The BJP is clearly counting on the continuing popularity of Mr. Modi into yet another season of victories to be capped with a third consecutive Lok Sabha win in 2024. The party also has a clear strategy for mobilisation. Mr. Nadda emphasised the persistent outreach of the party towards the Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribes and Dalit communities. Traditionally an upper caste dominated party, the BJP has made deep inroads among other segments. The party is also focusing on new regions such as West Bengal and Telangana for expansion. Success has not made the BJP complacent.

To read this editorial in Malayalam, click here.

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