Opposition should start framing strategy for 2024 elections: BJP

Headlines following the elections declared Modi, "King of the Heartland" after results in state assembly elections. But it hit out at the BJP for declaring it would form the government in Goa and Manipur, and wondered if the party was "planning to hatch one more conspiracy like in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh".

This was the first public appearance of the Prime Minister after poll results in five states came out yesterday.

In the previous Uttar Pradesh election, in 2012, the BJP won only 47 seats and thus, 2017's vote is significant endorsement for Modi, the leader of the BJP, and the face of its campaign across state elections.

The result will ease the passage of central government bills in New Delhi thanks to the composition of the upper house, where the BJP now holds just over 20% of all seats. Surrounded by security personnel, PM Modi waved at his supporters during his "victory walk" amid shower of petals and chants of "Modi, Modi".

"We are lucky to have Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of the country and Amit Shah as BJP national president".

The scale of the Bharatiya Janata Party's victory suggested that it had bridged such caste allegiances, some experts said, although it had yet to cross religious lines to attract large numbers of Muslims.

"It is not to merely to talk about the big picture, these elections and party's victory in Uttar Pradesh only makes us talk about the grand picture", BJP leader Sudhanshu Trivedi told UNI here. The BJP workers danced to the drum beats outside the party headquarters, where Modi was felicitated, waved party flags and shouted slogans of "Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi".

The BJP did even better in the neighbouring Uttarakhand, with over 46 percent vote share, though down from almost 56 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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"I don't want to feel that I could have pushed myself a little more", Modi was quoted as saying by a close aide who attended the meeting.

Critics accuse Shah and Modi of "social engineering" and of switching to a more communally divisive tone to fire up their Hindu base as voting, staggered over the course of a month, progressed. "He is the most popular leader", Shah claimed, adding that the demonetisation scheme, free cooking gas connections to the poor, mission on toilets under the Clean India programme and Jan Dhan accounts worked in favour of the BJP.

"He is now well positioned for 2019", Kumar said, referring to the next national elections.

  • Rogelio Becker