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SWOT Analysis of the BJP for 2019 Lok Sabha elections
In 2014, the people were desperate to topple the scam-tainted Congress-led UPA government and therefore Narendra Modi-led NDA found it easy to form the government with the BJP having absolute majority of its own. But in 2019, the scenario will be different and a real battle is on the cards for three reasons:

1.     Last five years of Modi rule will be up for scrutiny.  

2.     Never ever has the Congress remained out of power for two consecutive terms.

3.      The opposition parties, forgetting their ideological differences, will unite by making opportunistic alliances to fight against the BJP.

For starters, SWOT means Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat. A SWOT analysis is therefore very essential to plan actions so as to achieve the objectives.  I am presenting my SWOT analysis for BJP.

STRENGTH

1.     Narendra Modi – BJP's trump card with impeccable track record of probity, propriety and honesty in public life and at present the favorite of most Indians to become PM again in 2019.

2.     High Performance – Many developmental works have been done during 2014-2019 and BJP will derive mileage by advertising them. Scrutinized facts and figures always speak for themselves.

3.     Social Media – BJP's outreach to common people via social media is praiseworthy. More than  BJP's IT cell, the common citizens take upon themselves to campaign for BJP in social media and it is a big plus for BJP.

4.     RSS and Organizational Strength – BJP reaches grass root in an organized manner. RSS and BJP are inseparable confirming a solid vote base. BJP's booth level organizational ability is a major strength.

5.     Amit Shah – The Chanakya of current Indian politics. He knows how to win elections.

Recommendations: Sustain and consolidate the strengths

WEAKNESS

1.     Dependence on Narendra Modi – Too much of anything is bad. Depending upon Modi to win elections will not work all the time.

Recommendation: BJP should divide campaign work among all senior leaders, groom new and young leaders and select candidates who have public acceptance and high chance of winningDo not give tickets to non performing sitting MPs.

1.     Partnership crisis – TDP gone, Shiv Sena is swinging like a pendulum, Akalis going through a bad phase, RLSP turned foe in Bihar, rumors are there that Apna Dal in UP may also switch sides.    

Recommendation: BJP should fight election without entering into any alliances with partners who are blackmailers and having questionable ideologies and attitudes. In Maharashtra, for instance, BJP must not do alliance with Shiv Sena which is more of a foe in the guise of a friend. In short, BJP must stick to its ideology and bank on the good work done by PM Modi.

1.     Anti-incumbency: This is always a weakness for any incumbent government. Despite hard efforts, the problems of a nation do not get solved in a short period like five years. But some people will not understand it and vote in order to change the government and in the process create more problems for the nation.

Recommendation -Performance is the best counter of anti-incumbency. BJP should reach every household distributing leaflets that details the achievement of Modi government. Without targeting opposition, BJP should only talk about their track record and future plans.

1.     Internal difference – It goes without saying that there are many in BJP who are unhappy with the present regime. Those who did not get any portfolio are sulking. If some sitting MPs don't get tickets, then they may revolt doing damage to the party prospects. Arun Shourie, Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha are tip of the iceberg, many more will join them to defeat Modi.

Recommendation: This is normal. But BJP should be careful to ensure that the dissidents are minimum.

1.     Failure to counter Congress propaganda – Congress and other opposition will not keep quiet. They will resort to all kinds of propaganda and conspiracy to defeat BJP. So far it is seen that BJP is wanting to counter such propaganda. The loss of three Hindi Heart Land states is the burning example.

Recommendation: Being passive to a propaganda is detrimental. BJP should be aggressive in countering fake narratives of opposition. Thinking that public will understand everything is foolish to the core. The BJP campaign team should be prompt in calling the bluffs of the opposition. Grass root level contact is required as shouting at TV debates or parliament will not solve the purpose.

The fugitives like Mallya, Nirab Modi or Mehul Choksi should be brought back to earn brownie points. Augusta chopper scam, Aircel-Maxis scam and National herald Scam should be aggressively used to counter fake Rafale narrative by Congress party. The spokespersons of BJP should be more vigilant, assertive and effective.

1.     Monotonous campaigning – BJP's campaign has become monotonous. In almost all rallies, Congress is ridiculed starting from Nehru. This creates boredom and the relevance is compromised.

Recommendation: The campaign should focus on achievements (80%) and opposition bashing (20%), not the reverse. PM Modi should refine his campaign methods since he will be seeking votes as incumbent PM, not as aspirant. The grace and dignity proportional to the status of a PM should be visible in election rallies. Blaming Congress was all right in 2014, but in 2019 this will boomerang. BJP should talk more about achievements and future plans.

OPPORTUNITY

1.     BJP rise in East – After conquering North East, high chances in Odisha, significant inroads in West Bengal.

2.     Saffron rise in South – The Sabarimala episode will unite Hindus to go saffron, Rajanikant may be pursued to lead BJP in Tamilnadu, gain in Andhra at the cost of TDP, New partners may join hands

3.     Congress free India – This is a defining election. If BJP wins like in 2014, then Congress party will disintegrate and the dream of Congress free India may finally be realized.

THREAT

1.     Rise of Rahul Gandhi – The Congress Supremo has been launched and relaunched several times without success, but after the recent wins in three Hindi mainland states he is beaming with confidence. He could be the answer to the question, "Modi versus who". This will spoil the TINA factor that Modi is enjoying at present.

Recommendation:Do not give importance to Rahul Gandhi. Do not react to what he says. Just ignore him or ask junior leaders to engage with him. When he lies as per habit, file a defamation case.

1.     Grand Alliance – The opposition parties will unite to make an alliance to take on BJP. In UP, alliance has been made between SP and BSP, who were sworn enemy a while ago, and thus it will be difficult for BJP to repeat 2014 performance in the state. NCP, Congress, MNS and possibly Shiv Sena will join hands in Maharashtra. To get more than 50% of votes in such a scenario will be a herculean task.

Recommendation: When parties join hands, not necessarily their supporters will also follow suit. Knowing this, BJP should do aggressive campaign with a narrative as follows:

"Since Modi government did wonderful work, these parties had to unite. Some former NDA partners joined this alliance because Modi did not allow corruption due to 'Na Khaunga Na Khanedunga' principle. Demonetization made all the corrupt to lose their ill-gotten money and so they join hands to loot again by fooling people."

In addition, BJP should try to rope in Rajanikant in Tamilnadu and/or enter into a favorable alliance with AIADMK. In Andhra, YSR congress should be contacted for an alliance. In other states where alliance partners already exist, the seat sharing should be amicably agreed. In Kerala, the Sabarimala episode should be used to maximum advantage.

Getting 50% votes is possible when people at grass root are contacted by sustained effort. TV debates don't reach people, not everyone reads newspapers, and so one-to-one contact is the only way forward. My experience says it is easier to convince people by face to face interaction.

1.     Isolation of BJP – This is a major threat. Since most parties are uniting against BJP, it follows that BJP is getting isolated. The party cannot win of its own pan-India and therefore forming the government in case of a hung parliament will be difficult.

Recommendation:Partners are required. Do not antagonize the existing as well as prospective partners. Give them value and heed to them when they talk genuine.

1.     Rise of NOTA warriors - The committed voters of BJP will not vote for any other party even if they are dissatisfied with BJP. Congress, therefore, is promoting NOTA for such people. We know how NOTA helped Congress win in MP and Rajasthan. This is still a threat for 2019 LS elections. No promise to eradicate reservation policy, government apathy for construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya and wooing of minority voters by BJP are the three main reasons why NOTA warriors are in large numbers.

Recommendation: BJP must take care of NOTA warriors. Listen to them and take them into confidence. If committed voters are not happy, there must be a reason. Address it. The Karyakartas of BJP will do wonders in this regard. One or two Hindutva related announcements such as ordinance for Ram Temple will help BJP.

1.     Middle class is unhappy– BJP gets maximum votes from middle class. But they feel neglected throughout the five years of Modi rule. Not that Modi did not do anything for them, but it is not enough. Losing middle class votes may spell doom for BJP. 

Recommendation: Give tax relief and reduce GST rates of common items. Explain via campaign what Modi did for them and what would be done if voted to power.

There could be many more things that can be listed under SWOT analysis. But I think I have mentioned all the relevant ones.

Hopefully, the BJP takes a cue from this. The nation needs Modi for at least another term.

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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