Monday, March 4, 2024

Will BRS’ neutral stand help it politically?

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SNCN ACHARYULU
Hyderabad

When most political parties across the nation are divided between the BJP-led NDA and the opposition front, INDIA, will the neutral stand of some political parties, particularly the BRS, be an advantage or disadvantage politically?

About nine political parties like the BRS, the YSR Congress, and the Biju Janata Dal have taken a neutral stand. Past experience shows that there is a difference in the voting pattern in Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

In Telangana, the ruling BRS has adopted a neutral stand maintaining equidistance with the BJP and the Congress. The neutral stand of the BRS may become an advantage in the Assembly elections but not in the Lok Sabha elections.

For example, in the 2018 Assembly elections, the BRS won 88 Assembly seats out of 119. The BJP won only one Assembly seat and the Congress won 19 seats. But in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections held six months after the Assembly elections the picture changed.

Out of a total of 17 Lok Sabha seats in Telangana, the BRS won 9, the BJP 4 and the Congress 3 seats. It shows that voters think differently about Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. This difference is seen in states where the BJP or the Congress are strong.

During Assembly elections, voters prefer local parties and in Lok Sabha elections they opt for national parties.

Compared to Andhra Pradesh, in Telangana the Congress and the BJP are strong. Moreover, during Lok Sabha elections most voters look towards the BJP or the Congress than local parties if they are strong.

That’s why the Congress and the BJP performed well in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections than in the Assembly elections in Telangana.

In Andhra Pradesh, the Congress and the BJP are very weak. The regional party, YSRCP, was strong during the simultaneous Assembly and Lok Sabha elections, and it won both.

If the BRS joins the BJP-led NDA or the opposition front it will sweep the Lok Sabha elections. For the BRS, the Assembly elections are more important and for the BJP and the Congress, the Lok Sabha elections are more important.

As national parties, the BJP and the Congress want to form a government at the Centre. Regional parties prefer to form governments in their own states. But the BRS wants a hat-trick victory in the Assembly elections and also win most of the seats in the Lok Sabha elections to play a key role in national politics.

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