New Delhi, 25/1:Poll strategist Prashant Kishor said an opposition front to thwart BJP in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections is “entirely possible” even if the upcoming elections are in favour of the saffron party, but said it may not happen with the current parties and alliances.
“Is it possible to defeat the BJP in 2024? The answer is an emphatic yes. But is it possible with the present set of players and formations? Probably no,” Kishor told NDTV.
The strategist drew parallels with state elections in 2012 where Uttar Pradesh was won by the Samajwadi Party, Uttarakhand and Manipur by Congress and Punjab by Akalis, and yet, the 2014 Lok Sabha polls were an unprecedented victory for the BJP.
He highlighted that BJP has come to power by putting up a “very formidable narrative” on the back of issues of Hindutva and hyper-nationalism, and to counter this, the opposition has to sew together a coherent narrative.
Kishor also noted that any party or leader that wants to defeat the BJP needs to have a 5-10-year perspective. He said that non-BJP ruled states account for 200 Lok Sabha seats (of the 543 seats), of which BJP only wins 50 seats “even at the peak of its popularity” and the party is winning everything in the remaining 350 seats.
“What it tells you is that if the Congress or Trinamool or any other party or combination of these parties realign themselves, and reboot their resources and strategy, and say they pull about 100 seats from the 200, then the opposition can reach 250-260 even with the present numbers,” he said.
Questioning major opposition players, Kishor said not one ‘grand alliance’ has succeeded since the one in Bihar in the 2015 elections, adding that merely coming together of parties is not enough.
He advised parties to “expand their social base” to take on BJP in Uttar Pradesh. “The social base of the combined opposition has to be bigger than what it is today… whether it is non-Yadav OBCs or more consolidation of Dalits or forward classes,” he said.