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LOK SABHA elections
BJPís Modi-fied calculation
Itís a calculated risk the BJP has taken with Narendra Modi as its prime-ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It would gain in some states, but lose in certain others in the calculus of alliances that are averse to brand Modi. The Tribune takes a look across the country to see how the Modi factor may work for the BJP in each state.
By KV Prasad
E
ver
since the declaration of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJPís prime ministerial candidate, political discourse ahead of the next general election has taken a different course. The groundswell of support for Modi came from the cadres that eventually over-ran all opposition that existed in the top echelons of the BJP to the proposal, with patriarch LK Advani remaining the sole opponent to the idea.

Tally of alliances* in 2009 LS polls


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LOK SABHA elections
BJPís Modi-fied calculation
Itís a calculated risk the BJP has taken with Narendra Modi as its prime-ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. It would gain in some states, but lose in certain others in the calculus of alliances that are averse to brand Modi. The Tribune takes a look across the country to see how the Modi factor may work for the BJP in each state.
By KV Prasad

Ever since the declaration of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as the BJPís prime ministerial candidate, political discourse ahead of the next general election has taken a different course.

The groundswell of support for Modi came from the cadres that eventually over-ran all opposition that existed in the top echelons of the BJP to the proposal, with patriarch LK Advani remaining the sole opponent to the idea.

As someone who takes pride in having been an RSS pracharak, Modi did little to hide his ambition to lead the party in the Lok Sabha elections and now appears to be charged with missionary zeal. In 2008, Barack Obama, presidential aspirant of the Democratic Party, ran a campaign on the punch line, ďYes, we canĒ ó a phrase Modi iterated a few weeks ago. The phrase has not gained currency in India, but Modi is all fired up.

Although the US presidential election cannot be compared to the party-led polls in India, many political commentators seek to draw parallel with the individual-centric campaign that the American voters witness and how political personalities conduct during elections.

The Congress hopes he would peak and outpace himself before the polls. But Modi has injected a style of campaign that has the glitz and glamour of the vision that he has been articulating. He appears to have worked on a calculated approach to give him and the BJP a ĎBig Moí (big momentum) as the Americans call it.

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J&K
Window in Jammu

In the absence of a tie-up with the two dominant regional parties, the BJP cannot make any dent in the Valley, but the argument cannot be stretched to the Jammu region where the party has had MPs in the past.

Himachal Pradesh
Comfortably saddled

Having been the general secretary in charge of the state when the BJP formed the government, Narendra Modi is not a stranger to the people of the hill state. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh of the Congress has a task on hand to checkmate the BJP, which won three of the four Lok Sabha seats in 2009.

Punjab
Having the edge

With Parkash Singh Badalís SAD being a steadfast supporter of the BJP-led NDA since 1996, the BJP has little to worry. Not only did the party endorse Modi for the PMís post, but also made its support known much ahead of the formal declaration. The alliance should give the BJP a tactical edge in the final count.

Haryana
Back in the game

Under Bhupinder Singh Hooda government, the BJP was denied any seat among the 10. The BJP has a tie-up with the Haryana Janhit Congress of Kuldeep Bishnoi and hopes to get its political arithmetic right this time. If the September 15 Rewari rally of Modi is any indication, the BJP is back in the reckoning.

Delhi
Dikshit a challenge

The stateís key departments are with the Centre. With a predominantly middle class and urban vote, it would show which way the wind is blowing. Many feel the local BJP leadership pales in comparison to CM Shiela Dikshit, but the BJP hopes to make a clean sweep of the seven Lok Sabha seats.

Uttar Pradesh
Modiís OBC status may help

With 80 seats, it contributes the maximum MPs in the 543-strong Lok Sabha. Till 1991, it was central to becoming the PM. Except between 1996-1999, it had little say in national politics. But the BJP canít ignore it as it hopes to add to its 10 MPs in the current Lok Sabha. The OBC status of Modi may add to the party kitty of upper-caste voter base.

Uttarakhand
Banking on Modi magic

The hill state elected just one BJP member from among five representatives. The party has had a fair share of power in the state and hopes the Modi magic will gain more MPs. A dent in the image of the Congress-led government may help.

Bihar
With JD (U) gone, itís rough ride

A clear test ground for the BJP. Its long-standing ally the Janata Dal (United) snapped ties after Modi was appointed chief campaigner for the Lok Sabha elections this summer. The BJP had won 12 of the 40 Lok Sabha seats in 2009, but in alliance with the JD (U). It will be a multi-cornered contest.

West Bengal
Alienation at work

The state has voted for the Left for three decades (till Mamata Trinamool Congress battered it). Modiís style of politics is loathed by the Bhadralok and a sizeable Muslim population. The BJP has one MP from Darjeeling, represented by former Union Minister Jaswant Singh, backed by a party that wants Gorkhaland.

North-east
Hope in Assam

The BJP has four MPs from Assam, from among the 14 the states elect, but more than Modi, it is the infighting in the Congress that will benefit the BJP. The party also has some presence in Arunachal Pradesh, but not much in other states.

Madhya Pradesh
At risk, Muslim votes

Figures prominently in the Hindi heartland matrix as it elected 16 MPs in the 15th Lok Sabha from 29, the largest contingent in the North for the BJP. BJP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan favoured postponement of naming Modi for the PMís post till after the Assembly polls, fearing he would lose a chunk of sizeable Muslim votes.

Rajasthan
Modi may tilt scales

It is another state where the Assembly elections are due later this year and the BJP is raring to wrest power from the Congress. BJP challenger Vasundhara Raje sought Modiís support, a clear indication that his persona would help the party tilt the scales. Of the 25 seats, the BJP won four seats in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.

Jharkhand
Cong-JMM patch-up spoils it

The state has not had a stable government since the NDA created it. The BJP has had a share of power in alliance with the JMM. The BJP has its tribal leaders in Arjun Munda and now estranged Babu Lal Marandi, but the Congress-JMM pact will be a challenge. 

Chhattisgarh
Eying a hat trick

It is considered a BJP stronghold, electing 10 BJP men from the 11 members it sends to the Lok Sabha. Chief Minister Raman Singh of the BJP is hoping to score a hat trick at the Assembly polls. It would bring him on a par with Modi as a leader who won state elections thrice in a row.

Odisha
Losing out even on urban votes

The BJP tied up with the Biju Janata Dal of Naveen Patnaik in 1999, but fell apart before the 2009 elections. The BJD won 41 of 66 seats in the recent local bodies polls. Modiís persona did not work even in the urban areas as the party failed to win a single urban seat in the local body. The Congress won 10. 

Gujarat
Reworking the magic

It is the citadel of Modi, with the BJP winning 15 of the 26 seats in 2009. The general election will be a test for the party and its prime-ministerial candidate to increase their presence and add muscle.

Maharashtra
Shiv Senaís thumbs up

The BJP has nine MPs from among the 48 the state sends to the Lok Sabha, but it has essentially been in alliance with the Shiv Sena. Modi is considered close to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray, the estranged cousin of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray. Both have supported Modiís candidature.

Andhra Pradesh
Telangana issue may work

The last two elections saw the UPA gain a large contingent of MPs. Riding on the Telangana sentiment, the BJP hopes to establish itself. During the 1999 Lok Sabha polls, it benefited from an alliance with the TDP and Vajpayeeís stature.

Goa
Going with BJP

The BJP has one of the two Lok Sabha seats. The state is known to vote for the BJP and with Manohar Parrikar at the helm, the party will work to win both seats. Modi's quest to become the prime-ministerial candidate began at the party conclave held in the state earlier this year.

Karnataka
Yeddy link only hope

With Modi seeking to woo former BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa back into the party fold, the party may gain some ground it conceded to the Congress in the recent Assembly polls. Modi failed to turn around BJPís fortunes.

Tamil Nadu
Alliance will be key

Dravidian parties have been alternating between power and the opposition, making it difficult for any national party to gain a toehold without an alliance with either the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) or its principal opponent, All-India Anna DMK (AIADMK).

Kerala
A dash of influence

In a state that alternates between the Left and the Congress, the BJPís presence can be termed insignificant. However, there are pockets where the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has some influence, and Modi is seeking to get his toe through a small door that opens through the Ezhava backward community ó one of the two dominant communities in Kerala politics.


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