Is it possible to defeat BJP in 2024? Prashant Kishor answers

He said it is essential that one coherent formation is made to defeat the BJP.

Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday said that it is essential that a stronger opposition be formed as he believes it is highly unlikely to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2024 with the current set of players and formations.

“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 said in an interview to NDTV’s Sreenivasan Jain.

Speaking about the forthcoming assembly elections being viewed as a semifinal run to the finals in 2024, he warned that even if the BJP wins everything in this round it may lose the run in 2024.

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“In 2012, UP was won by SP (Samajwadi Party), Uttarakhand by Congress, Manipur by Congress, Punjab by Akalis, but the result in 2014 was very different,” he said.

Speaking about the situation of the Uttar Pradesh elections, Kishor said that it is essential to expand one’s social base to take on the BJP. “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 it is essential that one coherent formation is made to defeat the BJP by working on the party’s weaknesses in the south and east and strengthening one’s hold in the north and west.

“If you take Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala – roughly 200 [Lok Sabha] seats, even at the peak of their popularity, the BJP has been able to win only 50-odd seats. In the remaining 350 seats, the BJP is sweeping everything,” he said.

“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,” Kishor added.

He said that it is not enough that parties come together in a “grand-alliance” but it is essential that they work on outdoing the BJP’s “formidable narrative” that has been formed by the party by leveraging the issues of Hindutva, hyper-nationalism, and public welfare.

“Not a single ‘grand alliance’ has succeeded since Bihar 2015. Merely coming together of parties and leaders will not be sufficient. You need to have the narrative and a coherent outfit,” said Kishor.

Kishor who is reportedly working with the TMC to expand its footprint nationally has been critical of the working of Congress in the past.

Kishor who had come in close contact with the Congress late last year had taken to Twitter in December and criticised the Congress.

He had said that the Congress leadership is not the “divine right” of an individual, especially when the party has “lost more than 90% elections in last 10 years”, in what seemed like an apparent dig at senior leader Rahul Gandhi.

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