2024 LS polls: For Mission 400, BJP takes lead by declaring 405 seats as against 193 of Cong

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As the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections are set to commence on April 19, the BJP has already announced candidates for about 90 per cent of seats so far. Apart from this, tickets for about 100 MPs have also been cancelled. So far, the party has announced the names of 405 candidates, including its sixth list, which was released on Tuesday.

The party is eyeing a hat-trick for PM Narendra Modi and has given the slogan ‘Abki Baar 400 Paar’ for the NDA while 370 plus seats for itself in the 543 Lok Sabha seats. It is worth mentioning here that the Saffron party has already taken the lead in announcing its candidates for the LS polls by giving tickets to 195 candidates even before the ECI announced the poll schedule.

It is believed that the BJP will contest a maximum of 440 or 450 seats while leaving the remaining for its allies. The early declaration of candidates for the seats will be seen as a smart move by the BJP, as it will now give ample time to the candidates to go to the people and seek votes.

Sending a strong message

The party, by cutting the tickets of about 100 sitting MPs, has also tried to ensure that any kind of anti-incumbency is taken care of and also tried to give a clear message that workers are most important in the party, and thus the party can give any responsibility to whoever it wants to. This desire of the party leadership was quite evident in the 2023 Assembly polls where it gave tickets to even its sitting MPs and also some new faces. The BJP also gave this message to the workers in a concrete manner by appointing new faces as CMs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh.

Apart from this, the party, by not giving tickets to those leaders who have been making controversial statements like Sadhvi Pragya, Ramesh Bidhuri, Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma, Varun Gandhi, and Anantkumar Hegde, among others, has given a stern message that it will not entertain those leaders with controversial baggage. This shows that the party is committed to ensuring that its candidates uphold the party’s principles and refrain from making controversial statements.

Congress lagging behind

As against the BJP’s 405 names, the Congress, until Monday, managed to announce names in just 190 LS constituencies. The delay in announcing the list is being attributed to infighting in several states. This huge leap by the BJP in naming candidates will give it an immense advantage against the Congress, as now its remaining candidates will have less time to campaign as the first phase of polls starts on April 19.

The BJP, led by PM Modi, has already started its election campaign, while the candidates who got early tickets are seen taking full advantage of this head start. They even made the most of the Holi festival by mingling with voters while extending Holi greetings. As against the BJP candidates, the Congress leaders were at a loss as most of them were not sure of getting a party ticket.

Moreover, the Congress has yet to sound a poll bugle as it has not even held any major election rallies to date for any of its candidates. Even the rally in Mumbai after the conclusion of Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra saw the presence of several INDI Alliance partners and was said to be a show of strength for the Opposition Alliance.

BJP’s smart move to induct powerful leaders from other parties

The BJP is very serious about achieving its 400+ target, and to realise it, the party has been forging alliances with parties like TDP and Pawan Kalyan in Andhra Pradesh and several smaller parties in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP has also been making efforts to bring Akali Dal with it in Punjab and has already forged alliances with parties in Maharashtra to benefit from these parties’ regional connections to increase its LS tally. The party has also been welcoming popular leaders from other parties to gain from their committed vote bank. The party is experimenting with winning seats and giving chances to strong leaders of other parties in the seats where it seems to be stuck.

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone. The opinions and facts in this article do not represent the stand of News9.)

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