Psephologist Pradeep Gupta Analyzes BJP’s Electoral Challenges

As the political arena heats up ahead of the Lok Sabha elections in 2024, psephologist Pradeep Gupta, the managing director of Axis My India, provides insights into the challenges faced by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in securing a significant victory. Despite the National Democratic Alliance’s (NDA) ambitious goal of surpassing 400 seats, Gupta identifies 13 states where the ruling coalition may encounter hurdles.

Challenges in Key States

Gupta highlights several states where the BJP-led NDA could face difficulties due to shifts in the political landscape over the past five years. These states include Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka, and Delhi, where changes in alliances and political equations have altered the electoral dynamics. However, Gupta also suggests the possibility of improvements in states like West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, and the northeastern states, where the BJP aims to make gains.

Analysis of Electoral Landscape

Gupta reflects on the electoral performance of the NDA in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, noting a 93% strike rate in the aforementioned challenging states. However, he asserts that the current alliance faces slim chances of increasing its seat tally and may even witness a reduction. To achieve the target of 400 seats, the NDA must maintain its existing position in these states.

Prime Minister Modi’s Call for 400 Seats

Despite the challenges outlined by Gupta, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other NDA members have rallied behind the slogan of ‘Abki Bar 400 Par,’ aiming for a substantial increase from the 352 seats secured in 2019. Opinion polls indicate a favorable outlook for the NDA, albeit with tough competition anticipated in certain states.

Shifts in Political Alliances

Gupta underscores the significant changes in political alliances and equations since the 2019 polls, particularly in states like Maharashtra, where new alliances have emerged, and prominent parties have experienced splits. He points out the formation of alliances between the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, indicating a concerted effort by opposition parties to present a united front against the ruling coalition.

Electoral Dynamics in Major States

Uttar Pradesh leads the pack with 80 parliamentary constituencies, followed by Maharashtra with 48 and West Bengal with 42. The majority mark in the 543-member Lok Sabha stands at 272 seats, with the BJP alone securing 290 seats in the 2019 elections. However, the NDA currently holds 346 seats, further emphasizing the coalition’s dominance.

Upcoming Electoral Phases

A total of 102 constituencies across 21 states are set to cast their votes during the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The polling process will unfold in seven phases, culminating in the counting of votes on June 4.

As the electoral battle intensifies, the BJP faces formidable challenges in key states, necessitating strategic maneuvers to maintain its electoral dominance and achieve the coveted target of 400 seats.

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