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Election Results 2017: Modi wave fading or still intact? Here's what at stake for BJP in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Manipur

Microphones Have Fallen Silent, Road Shows Have Reached Their Destination And Fates Have Been Sealed. The Blitzkrieg Of Assembly Elections In Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand And Above All Political Pivot Of India Uttar Pradesh Is Finally Over. As The Political Powers Hold Their Breath For The Results On March 11, Let Us Have A Look At What Is At Stake For PM Modi's BJP In Elections 2017.

By : Arshi Aggarwal | Updated on: 10 Mar 2017, 01:40:46 PM
Election Results 2017: Modi wave fading or still intact? Here's what at stake for BJP in UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Punjab, Manipur (Photo: Getty Images)

New Delhi:

Microphones have fallen silent, road shows have reached their destination and fates have been sealed. The blitzkrieg of assembly elections in Punjab, Goa, Manipur, Uttarakhand and above all political pivot of India Uttar Pradesh is finally over. 

As the political powers hold their breath for the results on March 11, let us have a look at what is at stake for them in Assembly elections 2017. 

Bharatiya Janata Party

The incumbent power at the Centre, Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party is playing the highest stake in the states battle 2017. Party, read PM Modi, stands to win or lose a lot including his own charismatic spell over the people. 

After a stellar performance in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the party has been on a winning streak – bagging state and local elections with ease across the nation, barring some. Though, the exceptions Delhi and Bihar have created suspense over the longevity of the ‘Modi wave’.

According to political expert Suhas Palishkar, “If the BJP cannot produce a winning performance in UP, that failure would have a cascading effect. Ironically, then, the current elections are not a test of strength for the incumbent SP, but for the BJP, which has its 2014 record to protect.”

Demonetisation effect

In five states, including Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, going to the assembly polls, demonetisation has clearly emerged as the war cry of not only the saffron party but also its rivals, who have latched onto the hardships facing people in form of long queues outside banks and ATMs to term the measure anti-people.

In 2016, BJP put up an impressive show in Maharashtra and the tiny municipal corporation of Chandigarh. These two wins were held by the party as an evidence of peoples support to demonetisation at a time it has come under intense attack from a united Opposition over the decision, cited by the government as a measure against black money and corruption.

While economic fallout of the radical exercise will take some time to be evaluated, there won’t be a long wait before its political implications are out in the open.

Exit Polls 2017 | Massive Modi wave in UP as BJP to get 280+ seats: News 24-Chanakya, India Today-Axis


Besides Uttar Pradesh, it has a lot at stake in polls to three other state assemblies, including Uttarakhand, Punjab and Goa. In Manipur, it has never been in power but has forged a strong regional alliance to have a realistic shot at power.

In Punjab and Goa, the presence of AAP has upset the conventional poll dynamics and BJP, which is in power in both the states is trying hard to keep the Arvind Kejriwal-led outfit at bay while battling its traditional rival Congress.

However, it is capturing the big prize of Uttar Pradesh, which sends 80 members to the Lok Sabha compared to 22 of four other states together, that is at the heart of BJPs poll strategy in the fag end of the outgoing year.

UP means Rajya Sabha 

Uttar Pradesh is called the king-maker state and it's not for nothing. The northern Indian state, with over 14,12,53,172 voters, sends the largest number of Members of Parliament to the Rajya Sabha, where both the ruling party and the Opposition vie to stake control.

The Modi government enjoys a brute majority in Lok Sabha. While the BJP-led NDA government can pass any law as it pleases in the Lower House, key legislation often gets stuck in the Upper House — where the Congress enjoys a majority — due to Parliament logjams and political bickering.
 While for the BJP, UP polls are one chance to wrest free the Rajya Sabha from the controls of the Opposition, ensuring that BJP's strength is limited in Rajya Sabha is the only respite Congress can hope for until the next Lok Sabha Elections.

Read | Ready for tie-up with BSP in case of hung assembly, says Akhilesh Yadav

The state elections also arguably set the precursor to the 2019 Lok Sabha election as UP was crucial in BJP's clean sweep in 2014 Lok Sabha elections — the saffron party's one-third parliamentarians come from the state that sends 80 MPs to the Lower House. Besides this, with the 2017 Presidential Election is in the offing, UP's strength will also play up in selecting the Constitutional head of the state.

Parrikar’s Goa 

Coastal state Goa may be minor in the electorate, but a win in the state is crucial to BJP. Loosing Goa would not only be an evidence of anti-incumbency against BJP, it will also be a blot on defence minister Manohar Parrikar, who has been projected as the returning chief minister of the state. 

Over 11 lakh Goans voted in the state assembly election which witnessed a multi-cornered contest between the major contenders: the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.

A changed scenario from the previous elections in 2012 when the confident BJP was given a tough fight by the incumbent Congress and very little influence of regional parties could be seen, the 2017 elections in Goa are dipped in the shades of black and white.

Read | BJP will win over two-thirds of the seats in Goa, says Manohar Parrikar

But the competition becomes interesting and difficult to judge only with the entrance of the newly formed alliance between Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), Goa Suraksha Manch (GSM) mentored by former Goa RSS chief Subhash Velingkar and the Shiv Sena, which are contesting the elections in 26, 5 and 3 seats respectively.

It is this alliance that can make or break the existence of the ruling BJP in Goa. 

Dev Bhoomi of Uttarakhand 

Uttarakhand, where the BJP tried a coup after breaking the Congress party last year, will also be a test for the parry to prove that it can capitalise on the anti-incumbency and form a government on its own.

The Brahmin party of India, Bhartiya Janta Party may be in a weak position in Dev Bhoomi Uttarakhand, but if it manages to win the state, it will be a huge boost to their image amongst the loyal vote bank across the nation. The exit polls are divided on the possibility of BJP’s win in the state. It may turn out to be a very close call just like 2012 Assembly elections. 

Read | Uttarakhand election: CM Harish Rawat confident of Congress' victory


BJP faces anti-incumbency in Punjab. Ten years in power has given them enough time to show their strengths and expose their weaknesses. It is also the only state, where exit polls have unanimously given poor predictions for the party. Exit polls, issued on March 9, project BJP to win merely 4-6 seats on March 11. 

If BJP and Shrimoni Akali Dal lose Punjab to Congress or Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadami Party, it would give their opposition an edge and evidence that they have the ability to beat the massive 'Modi wave', starting from Punjab. 

Read | Will throw Badals, their ministers and OSDs into jail for destroying people's lives: Captain Amarinder Singh


Northeastern states voted overwhelmingly in favour of BJP in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. But it will be very difficult to repeat such a performance, especially in Manipur. The state is a traditional Congress bastion. In Lok Sabha polls too, the two parliamentary seats went to Congress. 

While PM Modi and Amit Shah has put in their back to bring saffron colour to the hill state, Congress chief minister Ibobi Singh has fought the war from the forefront. 

Congress leaders, including party vice president Rahul Gandhi, put the spotlight on the “secretive nature” and contents of the Naga Framework Agreement between the central government and the NSCN (IM) in 2015.

BJP leaders targeted the ruling party for its alleged failure to lift the over three-month-long economic blockade on the two national highways of the land-locked state.

BJP leaders also levelled corruption charges against the Congress government and its inability to provide basic amenities to the people of the state, particularly the supply of potable water.

The Congress counterposed, saying the government during its 15-year rule implemented several development projects and improved the power supply.Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh in a recent election rally had accused the BJP of trying to take credit for development projects like railway projects initiated and inaugurated by the Congress.

In midst of the credit battle, BJP also faces a possible upset from activist Irom Sharmilla, who recently ended her decades-long fast and entered politics, in an effort to end AFSPA in Northeastern regions of India.

Read | Assembly polls: Manipur mothers vow to continue fight till AFSPA is withdrawn

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First Published : 10 Mar 2017, 09:32:00 AM

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