Uttar Pradesh

BJP's Uttar Pradesh Debacle: Why A Serious Review Seems Unlikely At The Moment

Nishtha Anushree

Jun 25, 2024, 01:56 PM | Updated 01:56 PM IST

Bhupendra Chaudhary.
Bhupendra Chaudhary.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have submitted their reports on the reasons for the losses in Uttar Pradesh in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections.

However, doubts linger over whether even these reports would give an honest and correct assessment of what went wrong for the party in the state.

This is because the reports have been filed by the BJP leaders of the UP unit only. For instance, BJP state president Bhupendra Singh Chaudhary surveyed Ayodhya and Amethi.

Similarly, UP BJP's general secretary (organisation) Dharampal Singh reviewed Rae Bareli loss and another general secretary Govind Narayan Shukla and vice-president Dharmendra Singh reviewed Saharanpur and Muzaffarnagar losses respectively.

The Lok Sabha tally coming down from 62 in 2019 to 33 this time was a big upset for the BJP. Hence, a cadre-based party like the BJP, known to involve leaders from other states for campaigning, electoral responsibilities and observers, was expected to adopt a similar process to undertake a serious and rigorous review process.

However, that was not the case this time. Instead of appointing leaders from other states who would not need to prove their neutrality, the BJP gave the responsibility of review to state leaders, who had their skin in the game.

For instance, as per media reports, the reported reasons for losses by BJP leaders include the misleading narratives used by the opposition, the alleged unsavoury conduct of candidates and the working style of the bureaucrats.

They fail to mention the faults at a strategy level. While the report mentions discord between candidates and MLAs and the ignorance that the workers faced from certain candidates, it does not mention socio-economic factors that led to the voters drifting away from the party.

These reports will now be compiled and presented in the meeting of national-level party functionaries, set to be held on 29-30 June in New Delhi.

However, if the report is not comprehensive and impartial, as appears from media reports, it will not be very helpful for the BJP for the 2027 UP Assembly elections.

Earlier also, a lack of proactiveness was seen in UP BJP functionaries when even after 15 days of election results "no structured meeting" reportedly took place among senior leaders to review the losses.

In such a scenario, observers see the need for the central leadership of the BJP to intervene in the state of affairs and do an overhaul, if needed.

Reportedly, UP BJP president Bhupendra Chaudhary has already left it to the party's national president J P Nadda to decide the future course of action.

Chaudhary was chosen as the UP BJP president in August 2022 and the tenure of the president is of three years. However, there were instances when the BJP changed its leadership in UP before the completion of three years.

Although, any major changes are expected to be seen only after the BJP elects its new national president as Nadda has been appointed as the Leader of the House of the Rajya Sabha, and is also Cabinet Minister for Health and Family Welfare.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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