Focus Corner

Beyond Ballots: BJP’s Unprecedented Blend of Hindutva and Welfare Politics in State Elections

Navigating Dual Narratives - The BJP's Strategic Dance between Ideology and Governance as 2024 Looms

The BJP has a new strategy for the upcoming Assembly elections in several states. It combines Hindutva issues with welfare schemes to woo different voters.

In Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Telangana, BJP is promising more benefits to women, farmers, and poor people. And also highlighting its national schemes, such as bank accounts, cooking gas, houses, and income support for those in need.

The BJP raises Hindu issues to add value to its campaign by talking about the removal of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Citizenship Amendment Act, the Ram temple in Ayodhya, and the promotion of yoga and Sanskrit. It is also offering some perks to Hindu voters, such as cheap gas, free scooters for girls in Rajasthan, and free trips to Ayodhya in Telangana.

The Congress is also using both welfare and Hindutva in its campaign. It says the BJP is copying its ideas of giving guarantees to the people, which helped the Congress win in Karnataka. It is also promising to build a temple for Sita in Sri Lanka.

The BJP’s dual strategy of Hindutva and welfare is not new. It has been using it since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when it won a historic majority. The party has been trying to balance its core ideology of Hindutva with its development agenda of welfare. And projecting itself as a party that can deliver both good governance and cultural nationalism.

The BJP’s approach has yielded positive outcomes in certain states yet encountered obstacles in others. Regional parties and societal movements, mobilizing voters around factors like caste, class, religion, and identity, pose formidable challenges. Criticism from within the party’s supporter base and allies has surfaced, particularly regarding unmet promises related to key Hindutva issues like the Uniform Civil Code, the construction of the Ram Mandir, and the abrogation of Article 370.

The BJP’s strategy has also been challenged by the Congress, which has tried to revive its fortunes by adopting a soft Hindutva approach and a pro-poor stance. The Congress has tried to counter the BJP’s narrative by accusing it of communalism, corruption, and crony capitalism. And also tried to appeal to the minorities, the Dalits, the tribals, and the farmers by promising them reservations, loan waivers, and a minimum income guarantee.

The strategy of Hindutva and the welfare of the BJP is likely to continue in the future as it prepares for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The party will have to face the anti-incumbency factor, the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic slowdown, and the farmers’ protests. The challenges that the BJP will also have to deal with are the changing demographics, the rising aspirations, and the diverse demands of the voters. And needs to adapt its strategy to the local contexts, the national trends, and the strengths and weaknesses of its opponents and needs to prove that BJP can deliver both Hindutva and welfare to the people of India.

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma is a seasoned Political Journalist with a deep passion for Indian Politics. With over a decade of experience in the field, he has established himself as a trusted… More »

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