Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

Over the past few weeks, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has presented himself in a confident manner. During the month of December, when his Bhartiya Janata party (BJP) won three significant state elections, Modi did not hold back from making the prediction that “this hat-trick has guaranteed the 2024 victory.”

In light of the fact that there are fewer than six months left until the general election, in which Modi will be running for a third term in office, it was a sign that campaign season has begun with a healthy amount of enthusiasm.

It is generally agreed upon among political observers that the most conceivable outcome in the current political environment of India is a victory for Modi and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’
Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

The popularity of the prime minister as a political strongman, in conjunction with the Hindu nationalist agenda of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), continues to appeal to the overwhelming Hindu majority of the country, particularly in the Hindi belt of the north, which has resulted in the widespread persecution of Muslims.

Since the election of Modi in 2014, the machinery of the country has been greatly tilted towards the BJP, both at the state and national levels. He has been accused of overseeing an unparalleled consolidation of power, silencing critical media outlets, undermining the independence of the court as well as all kinds of parliamentary scrutiny and accountability, and employing government agents to seek and imprison political opponents.

The opposition to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) is considered as weak and divided on a national level, despite the fact that it is powerful in several regions of south and east India. The Indian National Congress party, which is the primary opposition party, emerged victorious in the state election held in Telangana this month.

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

However, the party is only in power in three states overall, and it is seen to be hierarchical and fraught with internal strife. The recently established coalition of all main opposition parties, which is known by the moniker INDIA, has not yet come to a consensus on important topics, despite the fact that it has pledged to combat the BJP as a group.

An individual named Neelanjan Sircar, who is a fellow at the Centre for Policy Studies, stated that “the general sense is that a BJP win is almost an inevitability at this stage.” “What is more important is the question of what factors will determine the magnitude of the victory.”

The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has initiated a pre-election campaign across the entire country. Viksit Bharat Sankalp Yatra is a roadshow that will take place over the next two months and will involve thousands of government officers being deployed to towns and villages across the country.

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’

These officers will be tasked with speaking about the successes that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has achieved over the past nine years. This is despite criticisms that the BJP is politicizing government bureaucracy and resources for the purpose of campaigning.

A total of 822 “selfie points” are being established by the Ministry of Defense at various locations, including war memorials, defense museums, railway stations, and tourist destinations. These “selfie points” will allow individuals to take photographs of themselves with a cutout of Modi.

It would appear that the popularity of Modi has been reaffirmed by the recent dominance of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chattisgarh.

He appeared at dozens of rallies to directly appeal to voters and present himself as the embodiment of the party. Despite the fact that the prime minister has little to do with state elections, which are designed to elect members of local assemblies, the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) strategically put Modi front and center of their campaigns in the place of local leaders.

Indian 2024 general election BJP win ‘almost an inevitability’
Modi’s messaging in these campaign speeches combined an emphasis on the BJP’s paternalistic welfare schemes – which provide large amounts of free food and cash handouts – with nationalistic and religiously communal rhetoric, offering a glimpse of how the BJP intends to fight the election on a national scale.

In addition, Modi played a significant role in the process of elevating India to the status of a global power, whether it was in the realm of international politics or in the recent moon landing that took place in August. India was the first nation to safely land a spacecraft near the lunar south pole.

A political scientist by the name of Asim Ali stated that the most recent state election campaigns in the north were “some of the most religiously polarizing I have seen.” This is due to the fact that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) mainly relied on Hindutva (Hindu nationalist) emotions in order to win the majority vote.

In Rajasthan, Modi often referred to an instance in which a Hindu tailor was killed by extremist Muslims. He did this in order to assert that the Congress party, the opposition party that dominated the state, was “sympathetic to terrorists” and that it was their appeasement of Muslims that had led to the death.

The candidates for the BJP included four Hindu priests, some of whom had extremely conservative views, but there were no Muslims. Fears of forcible conversions of tribal people away from Hinduism were exploited by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in the state of Chhattisgarh, which is inhabited by tribal people.

After India carried out airstrikes on Pakistan, following a terrorist incident a few months before the elections, which resulted in a storm of national security sentiment in his favor, Modi was brought to power in 2014 largely on the back of an anti-incumbency wave. His re-election victory in 2019 was all but secured after India carried out airstrikes on Pakistan.

According to Baijayant Panda, the national vice president of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), the party is exceedingly optimistic about the next legislative elections.

In part, he attributed the optimism to “the Modi premium,” which referred to the fact that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has a tendency to perform better in national elections than in state elections due to the “stratospheric popularity” of the prime minister.

Panda stated that there is a significant increase in optimism on the ground, even in regions that we have not typically been successful in winning. The fact that we were able to achieve such a significant victory in the state elections completely solidifies our position.

Concern was expressed by a number of scholars and human rights organizations on the specific implications that a third term for Modi would have for India, particularly in the event that it would be another outright majority.

According to Panda, it would be defined by economic success, and India would become the third largest economy in the world. However, others were concerned about the continuous deterioration of democracy and the rights of the Muslim minority, which is estimated to number more than 200 million people.

The director of the Center for Contemporary South Asia at Brown University in the United States, Ashutosh Varshney, stated that he anticipated that the rights of Muslims will continue to be subjected to assaults.

He issued a warning that a situation that is comparable to the Jim Crow laws, which were in place in southern American states during the late 19th and early 20th centuries and disenfranchised black people on the basis of race, may become a reality in India if Modi were to serve a third term as Prime Minister.

According to Varshney, “If Modi comes back to power, we can imagine a scenario of a Jim Crow-style Hindu nationalist order in states that are ruled by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.” It will entrench Hindu supremacy, deprive Muslims of equality, and create a secondary citizenship for Muslims, which will most certainly result in the removal of their right to vote in the long run.

The charges that the BJP is communist were met with resistance from Panda. “I dare anyone to point out where a minority, whether a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, or a Sikh, has been discriminated against in the governance of India, and you will not find a single example,” he stated. “I guarantee that you will not find a single instance of such discrimination.”

In India’s elections, the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi won three of the four states.

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