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Win-all in new NDA

Modi ‘wave’ helps smaller parties pick up seats, their vote bases add to BJP tally.

The BJP’s grand pre-poll alliance with 28 parties, forged despite an apparent Narendra Modi wave, paid it dividends in terms of seats AND also in expanding its base among various communities nationwide.

In Bihar, it weakened the bases of the RJD-Congress combine and the JD(U) by tapping the Paswan votebank (5 per cent) through Ram Vilas Paswan’s LJP and that of Koeris (6 per cent) through Upendra Kushwaha, who had left the JD(U) to found the RLSP. The LJP won six of seven seats it contested and the RLSP all its three, gaining from the apparent wave.

Simultaneously, the transfer of their votebanks contributed to the BJP tally of 22 seats. Their support also helped the BJP shake off its image as a party of Baniyas and upper castes and attracted a section of OBCs and EBCs to its fold.

The alliance in Bihar is also perceived to have had a bearing, to an extent, on the BJP’s attempt to expand its social base in UP where its alliance with the Apna Dal helped it consolidate the Patel vote-bank in Varanasi and adjoining areas. The Apna Dal won two seats.

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BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad says, “The larger pull of Modi across the country was so powerful that its impact was felt even by those such as TDP and LJP, who have been proved right in their decision to come back to the NDA fold,” Prasad said.

In Maharashtra, the BJP tied up with smaller parties such as Raju Shetty’s Swabhiman Paksh, RPI (Athawale) and Rashtriya Samaj Paksh, which had got not even 0.05 per cent of the total votes in the state in any election since 2004. The expanded social base, however, gave the NDA 42 of the 48 seats in Maharashtra.

The BJP, which had not won a seat from Tamil Nadu since 1999, reopened its account while another seat went to one of its five allies, the PMK. In Puducherry, the BJP went in for an alliance with the ruling All India NR Congress, which won the lone seat trouncing union minister V Narayansamy.

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The BJP’s alliance with the TDP helped the combine win 19 of 42 seats in undivided Andhra Pradesh, with the BJP winning two in Seemandhra and one in Telangana. A decision to bring Udit Raj into the party fold helped it win Northwest Delhi seat despite the Aam Admi Party’s rising popularity among Dalits in the capital. In Meghalaya, P A Sangma, now a BJP ally, romped home.

First published on: 17-05-2014 at 04:08:01 am
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