Most exit polls have shown the likelihood of the NDA reaching close to forming a government at the Centre but the BJP sounds confident about the alliance exceeding the magic figure of 272 seats on its own.
BJP general secretary Amit Shah, a close confidant of the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, claimed that the NDA would get between 290 and 305 seats, with Uttar Pradesh contributing the maximum of 50-55 seats to the final tally.
A series of exit polls by TV channels has indicated a big lead for the NDA. Times Now, which gave the lowest number of seats to the NDA, said it would get 249 as against the UPA’s 210. On Tuesday, Chanakya gave the biggest lead to the NDA, predicting a tally of 340 seats compared to the UPA’s 70.
“We will certainly not require the support of non-NDA groups to form the government,” Shah told mediapersons here on Tuesday. “We fought for 272+ seats and we are getting them. We will welcome any party which has even a single MP and wants to support us in the national interest,” he said.
If the BJP’s own assessment is anything to go by, its revival in UP, the country’s most populous state, would be a big success story. Party leaders feel the BJP will do very well in UP because of the Modi wave and the efforts put in by Shah, the party leader in charge of UP, for infusing new blood into the party organisation in the state.
Shah had divided UP’s 80 Lok Sabha seats into 21 blocks — each consisting of 4 or 5 constituencies. “Once this was done, Shah got down to devising separate strategies for each block. From selection of candidates to roping in local caste leaders and highlighting issues, Shah put to work a separate set of people for each block. They would inform him about every bit of feedback from these blocks,” an aide said.
The BJP has till now recorded its best performance in UP by winning 58 seats in the 1998 general elections.
The party’s success in weaving together a combination of non-Yadav OBCs and upper castes was credited for the BJP’s victory in that election.
The party hopes its decision to field more than double the number of OBC candidates this time compared to the 2009 elections will yield the expected results.