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Despite prevailing excitement among opposition parties BJP far from losing the 2019 general election
Post BJP's loss in the recent by-elections in UP and Bihar there is some excitement among anti-BJP parties that Narendra Modi could be defeated in the 2019 general election.

When the TDP withdrew from the NDA and moved a no-confidence motion againstthe alliance, suddenly all opposition parties rallied behind Chandrababu Naidu. In the meanwhile, a disgruntled Shiv Sena decided to remain neutral during voting in the no-confidence motion making it clear that they aren't with the BJP. Ram Vilas Paswan has already expressed dissatisfaction with the BJP. Another ally of the BJP, theSuheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP) too has expressed resentment against the BJP. A perception was instantly built as if the BJP was alone and losing ground fast along with wilting away of the invincible tag generally associated with Narendra Modi. But is the BJP really in trouble?

Let me do an analysis of the political equation of the country at the moment without commenting on the performance of Narendra Modi-led government.

Undoubtedly, Narendra Modi is enjoying unprecedented popularity even after four years of being in power. If the BJP is to be defeated in the 2019 general election, then there must be a credible strategy by the opposition. Let us analyse some important states.

Let's first consider Uttar Pradesh. Two seats were lost by the BJP in the recent by-polls as SP and the BSP came together. Was this the sole reason for BJP's loss? Many also believe rightly that a very low voter turnout led to the BJP losing the seats. However, it is not going to happen in the general election. Let's suppose that an alliance is formed between the SP, BSP and the Congress in UP. The Muslim votes will go to the alliance. But would that be decisive in some way? In any case the Muslims vote for the strongest candidate against the BJP? Upper caste votes will be with the BJP. Most of the OBCs too are with the BJP. Already a majority of Dalits are with the BJP. The SP-BSP-Congress alliance will make more Dalit communities support the BJP as most Dalits feel their tormentors are SP's vote banks. However, the BJP may not get seventy plus seats and perhaps end up with 20 seats less in comparison to 2014.

In Bihar, the BJP-JDU alliance will work as it had been proved earlier. Thus, I don't think that the BJP will lose further seats there. Yes, it may lose another twenty seats in MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana combined. Rajasthan and MP Assembly elections may also go against the BJP but in the general election, the BJP will be able to maintain its lead losing some seats.

In Maharashtra, it's a complicated situation. The Shiv Sena and the BJP will contest independently. If the Congress and NCP fight as a coalition, Shiv Sena will be the loser whereas the BJP will maintain its numbers in a triangular contest. If the Shiv Sena goes with the Congress (not impossible) then the BJP will unite with the NCP and will be in an advantageous position. If the Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena and the BJP contest independently, then the BJP will increase its numbers.

In Andhra Pradesh, either the TDP or YSRCP will take Congress as a coalition partner forcing others to join hands with the BJP forming an alliance because BJP's vote share could reach up to 5 per cent. If both the TDP and YSRCP contest alone, then both the BJP and Congress will be losers and might even draw blank. In Telangana too, there will be three-way contest and the TRS could emerge winner. Neither the BJP nor the Congress will be beneficiaries.

Here, both the Congress' and the BJP's individual performances are vital because the Congress can only benefit if it wins on BJP's seats. If both perform poorly in any state, then the Congress would be at a disadvantage as its numbers will not increase, giving BJP the leverage for forming post-poll alliances, if required.

In Tamil Nadu, neither the Congress nor the BJP have any foothold, thus we should leave out the state for now. The 50 seats that the BJP might lose in north India are likely to be compensated from the Northeastern states, Bengal, Odisha and Kerala where the BJP has been working meticulously. The way it won in Manipur proves how the BJP has been expanding its footprint.

In Bengal, despite all parties opposing the BJP, will a Left-TMC-Congress alliance be possible? Practically no. Thus, the BJP has a chance of increasing its tally. In Odisha, although the Congress slipped to the third position but there can't be an alliance between the BJD and Congress so BJP will the direct benificiary.

Thus, a simple calculation says that the BJP alone will acquire around 260-280 seats which is enough to get new allies. That means that the BJP is not going to lose in the 2019 general election.

Since this is known fact for the BJP, when the TDP gave a warning of quitting the NDA, BJP remained defiant. The party has formed its new strategy with new equations. The opposition might be upbeat now, but their happiness is short lived.

One more advantage for the BJP is that the Congress is not in a position to lead the opposition. Most political parties aren't ready to accept Rahul Gandhi as the coalition leader. Samajwadi Party (SP) spokesperson said that Mayawati could be the PM candidate which was not refuted by Akhilesh Yadav. The TRS has called for a non-Congress, non-BJP front to which the TMC and Left have lent support. That means there's going to be a third front. A third front means bad news for the Congress and certainly good news for the BJP.

Thus, I feel that the BJP is still in a very strong position despite all the brouhaha by opposition parties. However, one point that must be noted is that nothing is permanent in politics. So who knows what the future holds for Narendra Modi and the BJP!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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