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Modi blitz where BJP won in 2014

A BJP leader hopes that the BJP’s stress on nationalism and the Balakot air strikes would strike a chord with the cow-belt voters

By J.P. Yadav in New Delhi
  • Published 29.04.19, 6:35 AM
  • Updated 29.04.19, 6:35 AM
  • a min read
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign in support of BJP's Jabalpur candidate Rakesh Singh for Lok Sabha polls, in Jabalpur, Friday, April 26, 2019. (PTI)

The BJP plans to intensify its “There is no alternative (Tina) to Narendra Modi” campaign with more rallies by the Prime Minister in areas the party had swept in 2014, mindful of the difficulty of a repeat and the dangers of heavy losses.

Some 374 seats would have polled by Monday evening, with 169 left to vote. Of the 169, 155 fall in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab and Haryana. In 2014, the BJP had won about nine-tenths of these seats.

Ruling party strategists feel the BJP needs to defend these seats to be able to cross the halfway mark of 272 again.

“The remaining phases will witness more rallies by the Prime Minister. The campaign pitch will stress even more on him. The voters will be inundated with the message that there’s no alternative to Modi,” a BJP leader said.

He hoped that the party’s stress on nationalism and the Balakot air strikes would strike a chord with the cow-belt voters.

Defending the 2014 tally would still be a daunting task. The BJP had won all the 25 seats in Rajasthan and 27 of the 29 in Madhya Pradesh, but gave up power to the Congress in both states (as well as Chhattisgarh) last December. Party leaders said the focus would be on minimising the losses.

Central and eastern Uttar Pradesh will be the most crucial. The BJP had swept 50 of the 54 seats there in 2014, but the Bahujan Samaj Party-Samajwadi Party alliance poses a big challenge this time.

Of the 26 seats in Bihar that are yet to vote (five of them will poll on Monday), the BJP had won 25 in 2014. Party leaders said they were confident about retaining these seats now that Nitish Kumar was back in the NDA.

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