BJP To Fight TRS In 2023 State Elections, But Bihar Seems A Strong Hurdle To Overcome

The results of byelections held in six states reinforce certain long-standing political trends: Telangana is looking like a TRS vs. BJP battle; Bihar’s gathbandhan presents challenges for BJP; and Congress’s overreliance on Jats isn’t working in Haryana. The challenging victory for TRS in Munugode serves as a clear indication of how competitive the assembly elections would be in 2019.

Between 2014 and 2019, CM K Chandrashekar Rao continuously engineered defections from Congress, which resulted in a void in the opposition. He now contends with a far more fearsome foe.

The BJP has courted disillusioned leaders in both parties by cultivating social segments that feel disempowered by the rise of TRS and fall of Congress. The BJP placed a large wager on Congress import K Rajgopal Reddy in Munugode following the successful experiment with TRS rebel Eatala Rajender handing it a morale-boosting victory in the Huzurabad bypolls.

TRS no longer just rely on support for statehood (rechristening itself as BRS was another manifestation). Its efforts to use social engineering to win over the Reddys, a group that served as the cornerstone of the Congress in the Telugu-speaking area, are also having an impact.

The issues facing the BJP and the RJD-JDU coalition were highlighted by the byelections in Gopalganj and Mokama in Bihar. The BJP’s 36,000-vote margin in Gopalganj was reduced to 1,800 votes in 2020. In Mokama, RJD’s majority of 36,000 voters fell to 16,000 in 2020. Gopalganj recommends a difficult road for the BJP in 2024. However, the opposition is also concerned. In Mokama, the RJD-JDU partnership hasn’t fully met expectations.

AIMIM received 12,000 votes in Gopalganj, indicating that its success in 2020 was not an exception and that it continues to pose a danger to the Muslim base of the gathbandhan.

Congress’ heavy reliance on Jat vote splintering failed once more in Haryana’s Adampur. The Bishnoi family has been added to the BJP’s umbrella social coalition after assuring Dushyant Chautala’s JJP remains in place and highlighting the Jat-Dalit division in the Haryana Congress leadership.

The BJP won in UP and Odisha as was predicted. The most obvious victory was to Sena-Uddhav in Andheri East, yet Nota received more than 12,000 votes.

Voters are offended by the so-called Maharashtra “tradition” that gives family of deceased MLAs a free ride in by-elections: What options did the public have? A large Nota vote and accusations of voter bribing from Munugode don’t bode good for politics. Bypolls may serve as early warning indicators. In light of this, BJP in Bihar and KCR in Telangana both come under intense scrutiny.