As Gujarat CM, Modi replaced at least a third of all sitting legislators before assembly polls
The results of the Delhi civic polls lead to some obvious conclusions, and not so obvious near-term possibilities. These include fresh assembly polls in Delhi by the end of the year, the likelihood of several incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha members might be replaced in 2019 Lok Sabha polls and more leaders quitting the Congress party.
1. Modi wave
The BJP victory in the polls is primarily because of the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, brilliantly leveraged by party chief Amit Shah with deft organisational work.
It is true that BJP won the last two civic polls as well, but the party campaign in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) polls focused on Modi’s leadership, not of any local leaders. Today, Shah credited the victory to Modi’s leadership.
The emphatic win also suggests that the party has recovered the vote share it received in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, which slipped out of its hand in the 2015 assembly polls. In 2014, the BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats and a vote share of over 45 per cent. This reduced to 34 per cent in 2015 assembly polls, where Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won 67 of the 70-seats.
The Uttar Pradesh assembly polls have contributed to BJP’s popularity in areas where migrants from eastern UP and Bihar predominate. There was a time when AAP held sway on the ‘purabiyas’ of Delhi.
2. Alarm bells for BJP Lok Sabha MPs
The BJP fielded fresh faces in 267 of 272 municipal wards. It helped BJP beat anti-incumbency, and present itself as a new and improved version under Modi. This should worry incumbent legislators and Lok Sabha members of the party.
As Gujarat chief minister, Modi used to replace at least a third of all sitting legislators before every assembly polls. He led the party to three consecutive assembly victories in 2002, 2007 and 2012. It is likely that Modi and Shah could replace party’s sitting legislators in the forthcoming polls in Gujarat and Karnataka.
Several of BJP’s UP legislators are also hopeful of contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, and party bosses have indicated to them to nurse their putative Lok Sabha constituencies, most of which currently have sitting BJP MPs. (READMORE…)