Outlook – July 28, 2019

(Axel Boer) #1

18 OutlOOk 29 july 2019

Rajinikanth to consolidate its position.
“For the AIADMK, it’s all going down­
hill. The BJP is cleverly trying to
create an alternative to the DMK
alliance and may rope in leaders like
Rajinikanth,” says Shastri.



N god’s own country, the BJP­led
NDA may have come a cropper
again in the Lok Sabha elections, but
closer analyses of the voteshare prove
that there is a steady pattern of
ideological Hindutva becoming
electoral Hindutva in the state.
“Steady inc rease in voteshare over the
past three general elections shows a
definitive gain for the party,” says
Prof P.K. Yasser Arafath of Delhi
University’s history department.
“The micro det ails of the three
elections show that the BJP has been
growing fast. With this growth rate,
which is most likely to persist, the
Sangh parivar is not far away from
capturing about half of the majority

electorate in the next 10 years. A
Lokniti­Centre for the Study of
Developing Societies (CSDS) survey
shows how the NDA successfully
secured more than 38 per cent of the
privileged caste vote in 2019. An undi­
vided 50 per cent from the majority
electorate would definitely help the
BJP make strong inroads into Kerala.”
BJP’s state president P.S. Sree dharan
Pillai is obviously a happy man. “Our
voteshare saw a 56 per cent increase
from the last elections,” he says.
Political analyst J. Prabhash says the
party is all set to gain in the state.
“Though I wouldn’t say we are going

to see an immediate sea­change in
electoral results, the rise in the party’s
voteshare is significant,” he adds.
Prabhash believes there are three
factors to be considered. “The
Sabarimala issue has certainly helped
the BJP secure a number of votes.
Then, the coalition with the BDJS and
the Kerala Congress (Thomas) has
given them a sort of legitimacy. Third
is the fact that the Congress is getting
weaker in many pockets.”
The BJP has set a target of doubling
party membership in the state. “We
want to bring more people, including
members of the minority community,
into the party,” says Pillai. With the
BJP policy of wooing the minorities—
alr eady a few Christian leaders are
with them in Kerala—the party is
slowly but steadily making electoral
gains in its last post to conquer in
the south. O
with M.S. Shanker in Hyderabad
and Sabin Iqbal in Kochi

“Kerala voteshares over
the past three general
elections show the BJP
may capture half its
majority elctorate in 10
years,” says Arafath.

ShoW WeLL BJP MLAs demand the Karanataka CM’s resignation, July 16


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