Modi Magic: Why Indian Polls Post BJP Win | Indian Election 2024 News

New Delhi, India – India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, 73, appears poised for a rare third term and is likely to be re-elected with a majority, exit polls showed Saturday evening, hammering the opposition coalition in the world’s biggest democratic vote.

If the official results on Tuesday, June 4, support these polls, Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will not only suffer from widening inequality, record-high unemployment and rising prices, but could do better than the last 2019 election. No Prime Minister in independent India had ever won three Lok Sabha elections by advancing each time.

At least seven opinion polls published by Indian media organizations have predicted the BJP and its allies to win 350-380 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of parliament.

Refusing to think about post-election polls, the opposition All India Alliance — a grouping of two dozen political organizations hoping to oust the BJP’s Hindu-majority government — maintains firm hopes of a majority on counting day.

Opinion polls in India have an inconsistent record and past surveys have underestimated and overestimated the numbers of different parties. However, with few exceptions, they have mostly correctly predicted the major trends of the past two decades. Nearly a billion Indians are registered to vote in the six-week long seven-phase election that ended on Saturday evening.

“Modi is very popular. This BJP campaign is all about Modi for a reason,” said Nilanjan Sircar, senior fellow at the New Delhi-based Center for Policy Research (CPR). “People are unhappy with the government, but translating that into seats is always going to be a challenge,” some stories emerged.

BJP is expanding into new territories

While the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is predicted to do well in the southern states of the country, most polls suggest that the BJP will make a stunning splash there as well.

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Many polls predict that the BJP could win 2-3 seats in Kerala, the last bastion of the Indian Left, where Modi’s party has never won. BJP may win 1-3 seats in Tamil Nadu, where it did not win last election. If these victories materialise, the BJP will be able to gain a foothold in the strongholds of the opposition parties that have been struggling for decades.

BJP and its allies are also expected to retain their seats in Karnataka: BJP won 25 out of 28 seats in the state in 2019. And it will emerge as the biggest winner in Telangana. The results would mark a dramatic setback for the opposition Congress party, which defeated the BJP in state assembly elections last year – leading the All India Alliance in both Karnataka and Telangana.

“The victories in the south are surprising. And projections suggest massive gains,” said Asim Ali, a political commentator. “Even if BJP doesn’t get that many seats [as predicted in the exit polls]Their increase in vote share is a big swing.

Meanwhile, the BJP is expected to win in states including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

The opposition coalition is expected to win marginally in Bihar and Rajasthan, both states the BJP had almost won in the last election, and in the northern states of Haryana and Punjab.

Sudha Joshi, a 76-year-old voter from Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, couldn’t take her eyes off her smartphone on Saturday evening as news anchors shouted at each other about a “thunder mandate” for Modi. He got a smartphone last year under a welfare scheme run by the then Congress government in the state.

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Last December, the BJP returned to power in the state of Rajasthan by voting out the Congress.

Joshi’s political allegiance has also changed. Born in 1947, when India gained independence, Joshi never missed an opportunity to vote, he said. A traditional Congress voter, Joshi said he had lost faith in the party’s dominant Nehru-Gandhi family and instead came to see Modi as its leader.

“In 2014, when Modi stood for the first time, I could see a leader who would take India to international heights,” he said, gloating about the polls. “We are satisfied with his rule because he is a religious man like us, a true patriot.”

Analysts say his views reflect broader sentiment.

“A large section of society, with a guy like Modi at the top – someone “you can trust” – can only imagine him as a leader today,” said CPR’s Sarkar. BJP’s success is due to Modi’s popularity.

BJP’s National Spokesperson Zafar Islam said the polls reflect that “Voters have appreciated the BJP’s model of governance, people’s welfare programs and the vision of Prime Minister Modi”.

“The ease of living of the people has improved under Modi’s leadership and that is why we are looking forward to a historic verdict,” he told Al Jazeera.

Five more years of BJP rule?

Modi’s re-election campaign was punctuated by scaremongering, in which he and the BJP continued to project the prime minister as the savior of the large Hindu population against a conspiracy by opposition parties to benefit Muslims, whom he refers to as “infiltrators” and “them”. With more children” at campaign rallies.

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With a population of 200 million, India has the third largest Muslim community in the world after Indonesia and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the opposition tried to corner Modi on questions of social justice and equality. That theme struck a chord with Vikrant Singh, a 21-year-old political science student.

Singh traveled 160 km (100 miles) back home in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh and voted against the BJP. “Public universities are getting more expensive and unemployment is going up,” he said. “I’m almost a post-graduate and have no job prospects to look forward to.”

As a first-time voter, for Indians of his age, the last Congress government — the party was last in power between 2004 and 2014 — is now a distant memory. And the future doesn’t look bright, he said.

“BJP’s main focus is on winning elections rather than governing,” he said. “They go for cultural dominance and capture young minds by controlling the information media.”

In Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, the BJP, which won 62 seats in the last election, is projected to win more than 65 of the 80 seats along with its allies. After polls were released after the election, Modi said the opposition alliance had “failed to unite the electorate”.

“Through campaigning, they honed their expertise in only one thing – Modi-bashing. Such reactionary politics has been rejected by the populace,” wrote X.

If the election results support exit polls, Sircar noted that India is looking at five more years “under a centrist alliance of Modi and Amit Shah,” referring to the country’s home minister, who is often considered the prime minister’s deputy.

“This BJP knows only that way of working: a government with total power centralized at the top.”

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