A vote for Modi is not really a vote for BJP!

Delhi exit polls suggest a vote for Modi is not really a vote for BJP

It appears to be emergence of a clear pattern wherein voters choose differently in polls for Centre and the state

Narendra Modi file photo (PTI Photo)

Exit polls are out, predicting a landslide victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi polls. If this turns out to be true, the idea that a vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not really a vote for the BJP will be a sign of worry for the BJP.

That would also mean the emergence of a clear pattern wherein voters choose differently in polls for Centre and the state.

Strong regional leaders have halted the BJP’s victory march in states where the saffron party’s face is not Narendra Modi. The phenomenon was seen in last year’s Jharkhand assembly polls, where a known tribal face Hemant Soren of Jharkhand blocked the BJP’s attempt for return to power for the second time.

Earlier, BJD’s Naveen Patnaik won Odisha, YSRCP leader Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy Andhra Pradesh and TRS’s K Chandrashekhar Rao Telangana. In 2018, Congress leaders Kamal Nath and Ashok Gehlot won Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan respectively. In 2017, Captain Amarinder Singh had won Punjab for Congress.

Also read: Manoj Tiwari rejects exit poll results, claims BJP will win 48 seats in Delhi

The pattern will be put to test again in upcoming assembly polls in West Bengal state polls in 2021, where the BJP had won a whopping 18 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 general elections but has no matching regional face to take on Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress.

Bihar, where assembly polls are due this year, the BJP has so far kept its ally JD(U) led by Nitish Kumar in good humour, and might be able to counter the combine of Congress and Lalu Prasad’s RJD.

Also read: Over 200 PCR calls received by Delhi police on polling day

The gap between the votes the BJP is gets at the national level and state level, where its regional leaders are not so charismatic, has always existed. The BJP has won more seats in the same states in central polls, while it faltered in state polls. In Delhi itself, the BJP had won all seven Lok Sabha seats just eight months ago.

In Delhi this time, various exit polls have predicted seats between 2 to 25 seats (most not more than 15) for BJP, which is far below its lead in 65 of 70 assembly seats just eight months ago during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP, however, can still take solace as it had won abysmally low—just three of 70 seats in 2015 assembly polls which had happened after a similar gap post the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

After the exit polls were out, BJP Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari tweeted saying all exit polls will fail on February 11 when results come out. 

Home Minister Shah chaired a meeting with all seven BJP MPs of Delhi in which BJP general secretaries including Muralidhar Rao and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar brainstormed the political situation.

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