The BJP has suffered a massive setback in the elections to the five state assemblies. The party was routed in Chhattisgarh where it was in power for last 15 years. In Rajasthan also, the party has been defeated by the Congress. The saffron party has also lost Madhya Pradesh to the Congress after ruling the state for three consecutive terms.
How will this loss impact the party’s chances in 2019 parliamentary elections?
The five states that went to polls – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh. Rajasthan, Telangana and Mizoram -account for 65 Lok Sabha seats.
In 2014 parliamentary elections, the BJP had won 59 out of these 65 seats. The BJP had won majority of seats from MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The party had swept Rajasthan by winning all 25 Lok Sabha seats. The party performed spectacularly in Madhya Pradesh as well where it won 27 out of 29 seats.
Will the loss of power in these three states significantly reduce the party’s numbers in Lok Sabha post 2019 elections?
If the opinion polls are anything to go by, the results of Assembly elections will have minimal impact on the outcome of Lok Sabha elections in these three states in 2019. Majority of these opinion polls clearly point out that the electorate is very eloquent in differentiating between Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. A voter who is unhappy with performance of the Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan is not necessarily unhappy with PM Modi. Similarly, those who voted for Congress in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh would not necessarily prefer Rahul Gandhi over Narendra Modi in 2019 polls.
Assembly Elections: Cliffhanger in MP; Cong dethrones BJP in Rajasthan, CHG, TRS sweeps Telangana, MNF wins Mizoram
The Modi factor has the potential to change the political discourse in these three states in 2019, according to many opinion polls. According to some of these polls, the popularity of PM Modi is way ahead of other politicians in these states including the outgoing chief ministers of BJP.
Therefore, it would be naïve to conclude that a defeat in the Assembly polls would easily translate into similar outcome in these states when the electorate cast their votes for choosing the government at the Centre in 2019.
Rest the voters of India will decide.