South Asian Insider
BJP has to get the national-local balance right
The BJP appears to face the burden of triple anti-incumbency since the local legislator, parliamentarian, and the state government is of the party in most of the states where it had done well last time. After two phases of the Lok Sabha elections, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - the ideological parent and the organisational anchor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - has sent out a cautious reminder to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief, Amit Shah. As the Hindustan Times reported on Sunday, the Sangh believes that it is time for the BJP to concentrate on "local issues"; the national security pitch, especially the Balakot strikes, have limited traction on the ground now; and the campaign rallies need more energy. The Sangh believes that the fact that voter turnout has not increased - and has even dipped in places - compared to 2014 is a worrying signal for the party, since a higher turnout has usually yielded greater dividends for the BJP. There are two ways to understand the election, and its possible outcome. All surveys, reportage and anecdotal evidence suggest that Mr Modi remains by far the most popular national leader. He is the favourite to be PM. The reasons to support him vary from perceptions of his strength and decisiveness to absence of alternatives or a fear of a weak coalition. But there is another simultaneous process underway. As soon as the election is broken down to constituencies, there is a somewhat different story. The BJP appears to face the burden of triple anti-incumbency since the local legislator, parliamentarian, and the state government is of the party in most of the states where it had done well last time. Many are unpopular. Rebels have stood in pockets. The opposition has stronger local candidates in many places. And bread and butter issues often dominate. Even Mr Modi supporters end up suggesting that while they want him as PM, in their constituency, they would like to see another representative. The RSS warning stems from this second situation. As much as elections have got presidential, India remains a parliamentary system. And the only way for anyone to become PM is to have a majority of the MPs. Mr Modi's popularity is the BJP's strength, but will it be enough to offset all the local vulnerabilities of the party? Will only a national narrative be enough to neutralise concerns about the ineffectiveness or failures of delivery at the constituency level? The BJP may have an edge on the national story; but it is looking weak on the local front. This general election may well rest on whether the party is able to get the balance right in the coming phases.
Russia to Washington: Drop Middle East troop plan and stop provoking Iran
(News Agencies)- Russia told the United States on Tuesday to drop what it called provocative plans to deploy more troops to the Mi...
The rising risk of war in the Middle East
At the same time, Iran is promising to restart elements of its nuclear program. Add to this the deployment last month of a signif...
"Millions Of Illegal Aliens To Be Deported" President Trump
(SAI Bureau) Washington DC - President Donald Trump pledged Monday night to begin deporting millions of undocumented immigrants w...
Trump: 'I'm not a huge believer in polling'
(News Agencies)-President Donald Trump on Wednesday revived his attacks on the polling industry, denying reports that his own inte...
People trust Modi to make things better
(Agencies)- Last week, in a surprise decision, the prime minister created two new cabinet committees:?one to tackle investment an...
5 CRPF personnel killed in Anantnag's terror attack 1 terrorist gunned down
(Agencies)- Motorcycle-borne militants gunned down five Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in an audacious daylight at...
India's future prosperity depends on extending opportunities to farmers
Over the last decade, India has experienced sustained economic growth, bringing opportunities and prosperity to millions. The Worl...
Trump's Mother of All Truth Bombs
Agencies- President Donald Trump unloaded a baffling cargo of wordsWednesday after George Stephanopoulos asked him whether his son...
Pakistan Must Stop Terror Before Talks, PM Modi Tells China's Xi Jinping
China is a strategic ally of Pakistan and is investing considerably in its infrastructure projects. President Xi is expected to me...
NaMo resonates across India again Wave 2.0 breaches Caste, Class Barriers
(SAI Bureau) New Delhi: For a man dubbed on election eve as Divider-in-Chief by Time magazine, Narendra Modi had the last laugh on...
© All rights Reserved. The south Asian, Published Weekly from New york.