BJP Fares Poorly in By-Elections in India’s Most-Populous State – India Real Time – WSJ

The Bharatiya Janata Party’s landslide victory in national elections a few months ago spawned predictions of an unstoppable political juggernaut. But results of by-elections show cracks in the BJP’s dominance.

India’s governing party held onto only three of 11 seats that went to the polls for the legislative assembly of Uttar Pradesh, the country’s most-populous state. The BJP had won all these seats in the last state elections in 2012.

The regional Samajwadi Party, which governs the state but suffered a big blow in national elections, won the remaining eight seats, according to India’s Election Commission.

Just four months ago, the BJP won a historic 72 of 80 seats for the national Parliament from Uttar Pradesh on the back of a wave of support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This result helped propel the party to a majority in the lower house of Parliament, with 282 of 543 seats.

The magnitude of the win raised expectations that the BJP would come out on top in the by-polls, which are mid-term elections held for those seats that have fallen vacant since the previous election.

The results showed that while Mr. Modi had swung the national election by making it a presidential-style vote for or against his leadership, his charisma might not be enough to carry his party to power in state elections, where local issues and caste equations dominate the vote. It also raised questions about the BJP’s prospects in crucial upcoming state elections in Maharashtra and Haryana.

Some also saw the outcome as fallout from a polarizing BJP campaign that critics say sought to consolidate Hindu votes in Uttar Pradesh by spreading animosity against Muslims – and marked a return by the party, which has roots in India’s Hindu nationalist movement, to the religious agenda that defined its strategy a decade ago.

via BJP Fares Poorly in By-Elections in India’s Most-Populous State – India Real Time – WSJ.

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One Comment to “BJP Fares Poorly in By-Elections in India’s Most-Populous State – India Real Time – WSJ”

  1. BJP Fares Poorly in By-Elections in India’s Most-Populous State—I find this very intresting. It also shows that the unpredictability of the voters in the democratic system.

    Well, at the national level, generally voters follow a movement–and this was BJP when the country was ready for electing a leader (to represent the country) as the national figure! and I think they made the right decision by electing Mr Modi as a responsible leader.

    But at the state level, the voters generally see how their problems will be resolved with regards to the local issues.

    In a way, its a good thing that no party should take it for granted!

    I would say this is the democratic system in action.

    Like

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