NEW DELHI: The spectre of Opposition unity is haunting the BJP so much that it’s taking a hard look at electoral arithmetic in 12 states heading for Assembly elections in 2018-19. Tasked by Amit Shah to hammer out permutations and combinations to significantly enhance the party’s vote percentage in the 12 states, the BJP strategists are trying to find ways to stay ahead of the collective might of the Opposition.
The BJP is sensing that the party-ruled Madhya Prdaesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh are heading for a cliffhanger finish. Apart from strong anti-incumbency, the prospects of the Congress striking pre-poll alliances with the BSP in the three states is also worrying the party strategists as that would mean an increase in the vote share of the combined Opposition.
By 2018-19, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Telangana, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Jharkhand will go to polls. The BJP is in power in seven of these states.
Barring MP, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan, the BJP had polled around 30 per cent or less votes in the last elections in these states, and had seemingly wrested power on account of fractured Opposition.
“The BJP is searching for answers to take the vote share above 40 per cent in all the seven party-ruled states to ensure victory in the upcoming election calendar. The BJP is looking at potential alliances with local outfits,” said a senior leader.
“Statistically the BJP is pinned to the wall in the three party ruled states — MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh — if the Opposition unity comes through. It will have to ensure that a large number of Independents cut into the vote base of the Congress. Else, we have a tough task on out hands,” said a senior BJP functionary. The BJP is also facing an uphill task in Maharashtra and Jharkhand.