Because of this announcement of Rahul Gandhi, BJP may lose 30 seats: Modi admitted

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Because of this announcement of Rahul Gandhi, BJP may lose 30 seats: Modi admitted
Because of this announcement of Rahul Gandhi, BJP may lose 30 seats: Modi admitted

A fresh internal analysis done by the party shows that the poll sop announced by Rahul Gandhi, NYAY (Nyuntam Ayay Yojana) which promises Rs 72,000 a year to five crore poorest families, could impact as many as 30 seats for the party.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has gone into a huddle after Congress chief Rahul Gandhi announced the mega sop of providing Rs 6,000 per month to the poor. An internal analysis reveals that the Congress party’s poll promise could impact 30 seats especially in regions where farm distress is at its peak.

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Electorally, the BJP was emboldened after airstrikes in Pakistan’s Balakot when Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and destroyed Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist camps in Pakistan.

After the Balakot airstrikes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi positioned himself as ‘desh ka chowkidar’, a protector and a strong nationalist.

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The airstrikes would have worked to the advantage of the BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. The impact was, however, short-lived.

A fresh internal analysis done by the party shows that the poll sop announced by Rahul Gandhi, NYAY (Nyuntam Ayay Yojana) which promises Rs 72,000 a year to five crore poorest families, could impact as many as 30 seats for the party.

“After Balakot, we were looking at 230-240 seats for the BJP but now we are down by almost 30,” a senior party official said.

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The impact of NYAY on voting behaviour is likely to be the strongest in Chhattisgarh – where the BJP is expecting a wipeout — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and some of the southern states such as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

However, the NYAY impact on Uttar Pradesh is likely to be the least even as rural distress is an issue in Uttar Pradesh and large swathes of UP are rural. The expectation is that Uttar Pradesh will vote on the basis of caste and identity.

In the last 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had secured 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh, all the 25 seats in Rajasthan; 12 of the 14 seats in Jharkhand; 27 of the 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh and ten of the 11 seats in Chhattisgarh.

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Sources told India Today that the BJP has delayed its manifesto announcement and could announce a counter to the NYAY scheme to shift the narrative in its favour.

The messaging on the ground by Congress workers is that while PM Modi will give the poor Rs 6,000 per year, Congress will give them Rs 6,000 a month.

This is a narrative that could become compelling for the voters who have been at the receiving end of drought-like conditions and farmer-centric schemes that have not had the desired impact.

“The voter will have to decide whether to vote for someone who gave them gas cylinders, toilets, homes or someone who is promising them cash,” a BJP party worker said.

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