BJP eyes best-ever tally in Uttar Pradesh
In the 2014 parliamentary polls, the BJP expects its performance in the politically crucial Uttar Pradesh to be the best ever overhauling even the 57 Lok Sabha seats it had won in 1998, top party sources say.
Citing an internal survey, BJP sources said the party is set to improve its 1998 vote share of 38 percent. "Our surveys show our vote share this time will be 39 to 40 percent. At the same time, the SP and the BSP, which used to grab vote share of 28 to 30 percent each in the previous polls will be reduced to 19 to 20 percent this time. Naturally, we expect to improve upon our previous tally," said a source.
Over all, the party expects to touch 230 seats of the over 400 Lok Sabha seats it is contesting this time as the best-case scenario. "At worst, we will get 200 seats," the source added.
BJP sources said they expected a "strike rate" of near 100 percent in Rajasthan where they recorded a landslide win in the assembly elections last year. "We could win 23 to 24 seats of the total 25 there," the source said.
The party also expects a rich haul in Madhya Pradesh, where it won a third straight assembly election -- also held last year. The party expects to sweep the state with 26 to 27 seats of the total 29 on offer.
A BJP source claimed that "while (union Minister of State for Power) Jyotiraditya Scindia would win from Guna, (union Minister of Urban Development) Kamal Nath is set to lose from Chhindwara".
The party also expects to do well in Gujarat, but interestingly, BJP sources said they expected a 90 percent "strike rate" in the state, which is being touted as the ideal developmental model by its chief minister and BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi.
In Punjab, BJP sources conceded that the Aam Aadmi Party was set to win the Sangrur constituency. However, they maintained that the party will win all the three seats it is contesting without delving into the prospects of its ally, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, contesting on the rest of the total 13 seats.
Media reports have suggested a strong anti-incumbency factor in the state. In fact, BJP's senior leader Arun Jaitley is also said to be facing a tough contest from former state chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh of the Congress.
In Delhi, the party believes that three of its candidates -- Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi, Pravesh Verma from West Delhi and Ramesh Bidhuri from South Delhi -- will win while Anand Kumar from North East Delhi and Rajmohan Gandhi from East Delhi will corner two seats for debutants AAP.
Party sources did not give their projection for Bihar but admitted that the Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal combine was set to gain the most from the anti-incumbency factor against the Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal-United government.
In Kerala, the party does not really have any hope. "It is a polarised contest there between two parties," said a source.
(Posted on 03-05-2014)