The recent state poll results, particularly the resounding victories in the ‘Hindi Heartland,’ have propelled Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP into a commanding position for the upcoming General Elections in 2024. Modi wasted no time in asserting the dominance of the BJP and emphasizing the impact of their welfare schemes. The Prime Minister, attributing the BJP’s success to the “double-engine ki Sarkars,” highlighted corruption as a key issue resonating with the electorate. Notably, the Congress’s strategy of focusing on ousting Modi failed, with Rahul Gandhi’s “Panauti” jibe seemingly ineffective. Modi’s references to a “hat-trick” and the potential guarantee of another in 2024 underscored the BJP’s confidence. The victories in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh provided an opportunity for Modi to counter Rahul Gandhi’s narrative, labeling him as the “bad omen.” While the Congress secured a victory in Telangana, the overall results served as a wake-up call for the opposition. Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge’s call for an emergency INDI-Alliance meeting reflects the urgency felt within the party. However, the meeting may face challenges given the setbacks and the BJP’s swift momentum.
Looking ahead, the BJP is expected to intensify its focus on the Hindu card, particularly after Rahul Gandhi affirmed the Congress’s adherence to its ideology, including the Muslim card. Modi’s emphasis on aggressive Hindu appeasement, notably with the grand opening of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir on January 24, aligns with the party’s strategy for 2024. The BJP’s success in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh was attributed to the effective implementation of welfare schemes. Chief Ministers Shivraj Chouhan and Yogi Adityanath capitalized on initiatives like the “ladli behna” scheme and a medley of ‘labarthi schemes.’ Modi issued a warning to the opposition, urging them to refrain from ridiculing the BJP’s welfare schemes. The dismissal of the Opposition’s “Caste Census” demand and countering Rahul Gandhi’s “jitni abaadi, utni hisedaari” OBC card will likely be key points for the BJP. With Modi presenting the BJP’s narrative around “four castes” – “mahila, kisan, yuva, and garib” – as a foil to Rahul’s “Caste Census,” the Prime Minister has solidified his position as a definite winner for a third term. The transformation from a frontrunner to a winner is evident, while Rahul Gandhi faces a shift to an “also-ran” status.
As of now, there seems to be little standing in the way of Prime Minister Narendra Modi securing a third term, a scenario unimaginable just three months ago. The BJP’s unexpected victories in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh have positioned Modi as a formidable force. Going forward, Modi is likely to employ strategic words to provoke Rahul Gandhi into ‘Panauti’ moments, serving as a guarantee that the BJP will fight the 2024 General Elections on Modi’s name and face. In the aftermath of the state poll triumphs, the BJP’s momentum remains formidable, prompting speculation about whether the party peaked too early. The victories in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh have energized the BJP rank and file, but the party must navigate the challenge of maintaining this momentum leading up to 2024. Meanwhile, the Congress, facing setbacks, must urgently reassess its strategy and rhetoric to mount a credible challenge. As the political landscape evolves, the BJP’s emphasis on welfare schemes, Hindu appeasement, and Modi’s leadership stands as a potent formula, leaving the opposition with a daunting task of regaining lost ground.