BJP has won an amazing number of 310 seats out of 403 in Uttar Pradesh. A clean sweep there! After 15 years BJP made a comeback in UP but there were no indications of the same after the Bihar results in 2015. At the start of 2016, the mood inside the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regarding the party’s prospects for victory in the electorally pivotal state was pessimistic. The party big- wigs were readjusting the targets after suffering a defeat in Bihar. But suddenly all this changed and the mood became upbeat. The change in the ‘mood was also linked to extraneous factors such as the rising tensions with Pakistan and the civil war inside the Samajwadi Party (SP). Amit Shah was determined not to leave any stone unturned and leave anything to chance. This time for the first time, the BJP entered the battle for pivotal state with not a single poll strategy, but an approach with at least several layers:
Nationalism theme: The foundation of the BJP’s election pitch was nationalism. The surgical strikes offered good pretext for the campaigning. BJP used the surgical strikes for electioneering effectively and had posters plastered in Lucknow saying that he and Rajnath Singh were “avengers of Uri”.
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A number of pro-poor steps: some individual steps: Gas Cylinders distribution and they did it despite no cooperation from state government, demonetisation boosted his image that he is punishing the rich men and corrupt: his seriousness to root out corruption. And Amit Shah’s strategy: customised to every constituency, BJP shunned hypocrisy by not taking on the candidates who were not likely to win votes from them.
Modi appeal: The other reason was Modi’s enduring appeal. Whereas the BJP seemed paralysed by the lack of a chief ministerial face in UP mere months ago, it later endorsed the idea of Modi leading from the front and that he did. Modi was the chief rallying point of the campaign. This was shaped by the fact that Modi continued to be popular even after 3 years of being elected. This was evidenced from the most recent Pew Survey that gave him 81 per cent favourability rating. So Prime minister Modi-led from the front. Held roadshows and rallies relentlessly.
Pro-development agenda: The pro-development agenda has been another reason that they deliver was another major factor. Under Modi, India’s economy appeared to be trending in the right direction, if not at the swift pace Indians would like to see. The headline numbers the government has been touting are—near-8% growth, 4% inflation, shrinking fiscal and current account deficits, and record-high foreign investment flows—might explain why the Pew survey finds that 65% of respondents are satisfied with the direction of the country, while 80% say the state of the economy is good.
Poor performance by rivals: The inadequacies of the available alternatives also worked in his favour. The family feud in the Samajwadi party, for instance and poor leadershp under Rahul Gandhi. Rahula and Akhilesh together could not pull through. In fact, he became a reason for pulling down the Samajwadi party with which he had entered into a last minute `gathbandan’.