NEW DELHI: With polling for two phases yet to be concluded, BJP leadership is increasingly engrossed in counting gains and losses. However, even as the party leadership is busy assessing how many votes will land in its kitty, it has taken a grim view of General Secretary Ram Madhav purportedly claiming that the saffron party would need allies to cross the halfway mark in 17th Lok Sabha.
“Madhav’s speculation on BJP’s likely number post election was uncalled for, which hasn’t gone well with the top leadership of the party. He struck a divergent note at a time when our party chief Amit Shah is reiterating that the party will sail past the 282 mark it touched in 2014,” said a senior BJP functionary.
A cross-section of BJP leaders, including Union ministers, didn’t miss adding a backdrop to Madhav’s purported speculation, saying that he’s increasingly getting marginalised in party affairs. “Madhav’s turf in Northeast has largely been usurped by Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, while his handling of party affairs in Jammu and Kashmir has been questioned within the party,” a source said.
Yet, party leaders are analysing polling trends and assessments within the party to project the likely number of votes for the BJP. “The polling percentage, across five phases, so far, has been roughly about 1% more than 2014. This is open to interpretation. But polling percentage trends in past elections show that a 5% and above swing indicate vote against the incumbent, while voting at par could mean an endorsement of the prevailing regime,” a senior BJP functionary said.
The BJP leaders stressed that there are 8.5 crore (almost 10%) new voters in the ongoing polls, who would influence the outcome of the poll.
There was an upswing of 8.23% in 2014 elections, which powered the BJP into registering a majority in the Lok Sabha. “The Manmohan Singh government retained power in 2009, with the voting percentage almost the same (58.07% in 2004 and 58.21% in 2009). There is no definitive trend, but indicative precedents in the poll data,” the BJP leader said.
‘Madhav increasingly marginalised’
A cross-section of BJP leaders, including Union ministers, feel that party general secretary Ram Madhav is increasingly getting marginalised in party affairs. Many reckon his turf, Northeast, has been usurped by Assam strongman Himanta Biswa Sarma