Rural distress key headwind for BJP in state polls: Report

Written by PaperDabba

Low farm incomes and the resultant broader rural distress are “electoral issues” and the upcoming state elections will decide if the ruling BJP has been able to distance from those, says a brokerage report.

The state elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, which have around 65 Lok Sabha seats, will also reflect a “mood of the nation” ahead of the next general elections in April-May, Japanese brokerage Nomura said in a report Thursday.

“The state elections will also reflect the mood of the nation, and the extent to which the BJP has been able to distance itself from the electoral issues of low farm incomes and broader rural distress,” it said.

Economic growth has fallen immediately after the demonetisation in November 2016 and GST introduction in July 2017, before picking up in the last two quarters.

The brokerage said going by opinion polls, the BJP is likely to retain Madhya Pradesh, lose Rajasthan and “remain competitive” in Chhattisgarh. The BJP is the incumbent in all the three states.

It said the election results, which will be out on December 11, will be a “mixed bag” for the BJP, but cited historical analysis to suggest that state poll results should not be extrapolated for predicting general election outcomes.

In the past, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have voted “overwhelmingly” for the BJP in Lok Sabha elections, but voters in Rajasthan have been less consistent, it said.

On the Telangana elections, it said the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samiti is likely to benefit from calling a flash election and the Congress has a better presence than BJP in the state.


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