BJP will win about 350 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha elections!

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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The 2024 Lok Sabha elections

BJP will win about 350 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha elections!

By Justice Markandey Katju

In my opinion the BJP will win about 350 of the 543 seats for which elections will be held in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections i.e. over 60 seats more than it won in the 2019 elections (when it won 290).

This is for the following reasons :

1. When a party goes to the polls it has to offer something positive to the electorate. The BJP has Hindutva to offer ( whatever its worth ). The Opposition has nothing to offer, except secularism ( which really means desire for Muslim votes ).

2. The mind boggling hype created by the 'godi' media over the forthcoming Ayodhya Mandir consecration ( pran pratishtha ) on 22nd January, and the inauguration on the 24th, has created a huge wave in favour of the BJP and Prime Minister Modi.

Today, 30th December, with the touch of a superb artist, PM Modi inaugurated the Maharishi Valmiki International Airport, the Ayodhya Dham Railway Junction, and several development schemes.

On 16th January he will take a 'paschaataap' (penitence) bath in the Saryu river, and thereafter something or the other every day till the 22nd, when he will be the 'yajmaan' in the pran pratishtha ceremony of the Ram Mandir. All these events will be given wide publicity on TV and the print and social media.

3. 28 Opposition parties have formed an alliance called INDIA.

But these parties, while ostensibly meant to forge a united front against the BJP, are already fighting each other fiercely on the issue of seat sharing.

It was the intention of the members of the INDIA alliance that a single opposition candidate will be put up against each BJP candidate, so that opposition votes are not divided.

However, this is easier said than done. For example, West Bengal has 42 seats in the Lok Sabha.

Mamata Banerji would like to put up candidates of her TMC party in almost all of them, leaving at most a couple of seats for the Congress or CPM. This will naturally be strongly opposed by the latter, who will want more.

Similarly, of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP, Akhilesh Yadav would like to have the bulk of the seats for his Samajwadi Party and has started preparing for all

In Bihar, Lalu Yadav's RJD would insist on having the majority of seats.

In Maharashtra, Shiv Sena and Congress are squabbling over seats

In Madhya Pradesh Congress and Samajwadi Parties will be sparring over seat distribution

4. BJP is supported by the RSS cadres, which are ideologically driven, which exist in most states in India, and which work for it free of charge at the time of elections. Opposition parties have no cadres, but only hirelings, which work only for money.

5. BJP has been in power in the Centre for over 9 years, and in many states. It has control over the state machinery as well as the institutions like the Election Commission of India, the bureaucracy and police in most states, which it has 'saffronised'. It has huge financial resources, and all this it will use for its benefit in the 2024 elections.

Hence its sweeping victory is almost certain

Thus, while the BJP is like a disciplined united army, with Narendra Modi in supreme command, the opposition is a jostling fragmented group, with nothing in common, and its constituent members often at each others' throats.

One can therefore easily imagine what will happen after the electoral hustings.

It is true that building a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, or 'restoration' of Hindu temples in Varanasi and Mathura, after demolition of the existing mosques there ( as was done to the Babri Masjid in 1992 ) will not abolish the massive poverty, unemployment, malnutrition, lack of healthcare, price rise etc in India.
But unfortunately when most voters in India go to vote they forget all this, and only have religion and caste in mind. And with rising religious polarisation ( skilfully organised by the BJP ), caste has receded into the background, and religion has come to the forefront, giving the BJP a distinct advantage in a country where 80% of the population is Hindu.

(Justice Katju is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of India. These are his personal views.)

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