BJP chases third straight poll win with bigger margin: A SWOT analysis

Seen by political watchers as the favourite to retain power for a third straight term, the BJP has set itself an ambitious target of winning 370 Lok Sabha seats, a goal aimed as much at projecting its strength as at diminishing the opposition in popular imagination.
BJP - SWOT analysis
BJP - SWOT analysis

New Delhi | Seen by political watchers as the favourite to retain power for a third straight term, the BJP has set itself an ambitious target of winning 370 Lok Sabha seats, a goal aimed as much at projecting its strength as at diminishing the opposition in popular imagination.

Only once in the last five decades has a party won so many seats. A nationwide sympathy wave following Indira Gandhi's assassination had carried the Congress to 414 seats in the 543-member House in 1984.

The Election Commission formally kicked off the 2024 general election with the announcement of the poll schedule on Saturday. Lok Sabha polls for 543 seats will be held in seven phases starting with voting for 102 seats in first phase on April 19. Counting of votes will be held on June 4.

Sceptics believe that the BJP maxed out in 2019 when it won 303 seats by virtually sweeping its strongholds in the west and Hindi-speaking states in east and central India.

They argue that since the BJP has not been able to make much headway in assembly elections held thereafter in south India and states like West Bengal, where it made impressive gains in 2019, the party do not have much scope for improvement and can go down if the opposition can get their act together.

However, the BJP has often surprised political watchers with its poll performance on the back of its enviable feedback mechanism, organisational heft and willingness for course correction combined with a charismatic leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi whose popular appeal endures.

Here is a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of the ruling party as it chases a third straight stint in power.


* The BJP has a leader in Prime Minister Narendra Modi who towers over opposition leaders like a colossus. His mass appeal has propelled the party into making an impact in Lok Sabha polls even in states where it lacked strong organisation and faced formidable opposition -- in many places in 2014 and West Bengal, Odisha and Telangana in 2019.

* Since 2014, the BJP has built up an organisational machinery that was overseen by seasoned poll campaigners at regional and state levels and supervised by its national leadership. This can create and shape helpful narratives and take the party to the masses with clinical efficiency.

* It is not unusual to see non-BJP leaders acknowledging the overwhelming superiority of the saffron organisation even in states where it is not in power. It was evident in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh in the recent assembly polls when the BJP returned to power.

* Another strength of the BJP is its uncontested dominance in setting the pitch of the electoral battle, more so in the Lok Sabha elections.

* If its agenda built on national and cultural pride has touched a chord with a large section of the masses at a deeper level, its "labharthi" (beneficiary) outreach around its welfare schemes has swayed the poor.


* The BJP has eased out many of its experienced state satraps having popular appeal in their territory, as it sought to groom a younger generation of leaders who lack the stature of their predecessors.

* Political skills of the likes of Rajasthan Chief Minister Bhajan Lal Sharma, Madhya Pradesh's Mohan Yadav and Haryana's Nayab Singh Saini will be on the test.

* As much resonant as the BJP's Hindutva, nationalism and 'labharthi' agenda is in large parts of the country, it does seem to lose traction in unfamiliar linguistic and cultural milieus as in parts of south and east India where the opposition also has strong satraps.


* The BJP starts the poll battle with more odds-on favourite this time than it was in 2019 and 2014, a factor which will help the party win over floating voters and give momentum to its push in new territories.

* The opposition's attempt to come under a united banner under the 'INDIA' bloc has turned out to be a half-hearted exercise marred by one-upmanship amid the continuing decline of the Congress, its principal constituent, giving rise to the impression that the BJP faces no serious challenge.

* The BJP's alliance with N Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh and the perceived decline of the BRS in Telangana and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has presented the national party with an opportunity to grow in these states, highlighted by Modi's ongoing barnstorming campaign in south India.


* The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the electoral bond scheme for funding to political parties and the latest revelation about the donors have given the opposition an issue to target the government over alleged corruption and its misuse of probe agencies.

* Some big states, where the BJP did well in 2019, like Karnataka and Maharashtra, have a strong presence of opposition parties while regional parties like RJD in Bihar and Samajwadi Party in Uttar Pradesh are seeking to chip away at its Other Backward Classes and Dalit support base.

* Opposition parties have been trying to build a counter-narrative around bread-and-butter issues such as employment and price rise.

Latest News

No stories found.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Metrovaartha- En