NEW DELHI: A day after Priyanka Gandhi threw her hat into the political theatre of the Hindi heartland, the BJP maintained that though a bipolar contest in Uttar Pradesh is good for the health of the saffron outfit, it would be politically beneficial if the Congress gains credibility in the state.
Making sense of the emerging political challenge in the electorally crucial UP, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha, a top BJP functionary said, “The BJP has to enhance its vote share in the state to 45 per cent. If we consider others, including the Congress, accounting for 10 per cent vote share, the BJP and the alliance of SP-BSP will be slugging it out for a share of the remaining 90 per cent vote base,” the BJP functionary said.
While noting that the BJP has averaged 42 per cent vote share in UP in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and 2017 state Assembly polls, the BJP functionary said that the SP-BSP combine would need to significantly increase their average vote share of 33 per cent in the last two polls.
“If the Congress is able to increase its vote share, then it will indeed be of advantage to the BJP,” the BJP functionary said, rejecting the contention that a stronger Congress could also affect the upper caste vote share of the saffron outfit.
The BJP leader also reasoned that there will be multiple candidates in each Lok Sabha seat, who may have contested earlier on the symbols of the SP and BSP, thereby splitting the vote spoils even further.
Rejecting the comparison with 2004 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP, riding on the slogan of ‘India Shining’, was voted out, the BJP leader said that the worker base of the outfit has grown from 2.40 crore to 11.10 crore. He said the party is now being in power in 16 states, as opposed to 6 in 2004.