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Cong vs BJP: A SWOT analysis

india Updated: Mar 19, 2009 02:17 IST
Varghese K George
Varghese K George
Hindustan Times
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Congress

Bharatiya Janata Party

Strength
On balance, the UPA government has performed well. No tangible anti-incumbency in urban areas. Its leadership comes across as better equipped to handle challenges on the foreign policy and economic front.

Weakness
With infighting, weak organisation and dependence on allies in crucial Hindi heartland states such as UP and Bihar, the party could be its own worst enemy in Madhya Pradesh and may not be able to retain its impressive 2004 tally in Andhra Pradesh.

Opportunity
Welfare schemes of the UPA government could fetch electoral dividends.

Threat
Allies are hemming it in in the pre-poll scenario and deserting it in the post-poll scene.


Strength
Its allies are dependent on the BJP for a majority in states such as Bihar, Orissa and Punjab. BJP state units are strong.

Weakness
The big picture does not favour the BJP. It has lost to the UPA the talking points on which it hoped to badger the government: Terrorism and inflation. Its national leadership is divided and does not inspire confidence.

Opportunity
The Congress state units are weak.

Threat
Allies are acting pricey in seat-sharing talks and could desert the BJP in the post-poll scenario if its numbers are not impressive.


The outgoing Lok Sabha: where they stand

UPA : 227. Congress: 150; NCP: 11; DMK: 16; RJD: 24; JMM: 5 Others: 21

NDA: 189. BJP: 113; BJD: 10; JD(U)*: 1; Shiromani Akali Dal: 8; Shiv Sena: 12; Others: 38

The rest: Left Front: 58; Samajwadi Party**: 34; BSP: 16; Others and vacant seats: 19

* Seven members resigned over the MNS’s anti-north Indian campaign in Mumbai;
** SP extended outside support to the UPA during the trust vote last July