TN: 8, T'gana: 8, AP: 4, Kerala: few: BJP forecast
April 04, 2024  15:23
The Lok Sabha elections are a contest between "brand Modi" and "brand virodhi", making it virtually a presidential contest that leaves no doubt about who will win given the emotional connect people have with Narendra Modi, BJP national spokesperson Ajay Alok has said. 

 The prime minister's declared target of 370 seats will be helped by a record tally in southern states and West Bengal, Alok told PTI, giving an explicit breakdown of seats the BJP will win in states that have traditionally not been its strongholds. 

 He said the party will win seven-eight seats in Tamil Nadu, is "1,000 per cent sure" to bag over eight in Telangana, four in Andhra Pradesh and a few in Kerala, an astounding claim as the BJP has never won a Lok Sabha seat in the Left and Congress dominated state. 

It currently has no seat in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and has four in Telangana. Asked if his projection was too optimistic about a state like Tamil Nadu, an Achilles heel for the BJP, he said, "Absolutely not. The inert Hindutva feeling has risen among people. Dravidian politics has its limit."

 He said a big impact of the decade-long tenure of Modi has been a resurgent pride among Hindus in their faith. "People no longer feel embarrassed in flaunting their Hindu identity," he said. However, being Hindu and being Indian is the same, he added, while also underlining the impetus to the country's growth and development during Modi's tenure. 

 Alok, a visible face of the BJP on the broadcast news, said of his home state Bihar that even there it is the brand equity of Modi which will ensure a sweep by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance. 

 With JD(U) president and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar back into the NDA fold, he answered in the negative when asked if "brand Nitish" will remain strong in the state during the polls. 

 "This election is going the way of either you are with Modi or you are against Modi. In this Nitish and others will act as an add-on but cannot become a brand," Alok, who began his political innings from the BJP and then joined the JD(U) before returning to the party. India may not have the presidential form of government but people often vote on these lines as they have historically rallied around a leader during elections. "

"Today it is either 'brand Modi' or 'brand virodhi'. There are different rivals (virodhi) in different states. But 'brand Modi' is present everywhere," Alok, who quit a government job to join politics and is a medical doctor, said.
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