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A lot at stake for BJP in first phase LS polls

IANS  |  New Delhi 

As voters cast their ballot in the first phase of polls for 91 seats across 18 states and two union territories, it is the that has a lot at stake. It had won 32 of these seats in 2014.

The fared poorly in the last and could win only seven of these 91 seats. Five of its seats came from the North-East where the has considerably consolidated its position in the last five years.

The battle is tough for the in Uttar Pradesh, where it had won all the eight seats that have to the polls today. This time, the party faces challenge from the coalition of Samajwadi Party, and Rashtriya Lok Dal. Analysts say it will be difficult for the to repeat its 2014 performance.

In Uttarakhand, where BJP had won all the five seats in 2014, the party faces strong candidates from Congress, including former Chief and Manish Khanduri, son of former Union

The "nationalism" narrative of the BJP seems to be a strong factor in the hills which has a large population of ex-servicemen and those serving in the uniformed forces.

The BJP faces a stronger challenge in with its stand on the Citizenship Amendment Bill which has been opposed by its allies. The Asom Gana Parishad, its ally in Assam, is opposed to the Bill which finds a mention in the BJP manifesto.

In Bihar, BJP had won three of the four seats going to the polls and is now contesting one.

The BJP and its ally had in 2014 won all the seven seats going to polls in the first phase in Maharashtra, but the BJP later lost one seat.

The first phase election will decide the fate of six Union Ministers -- Nitin Gadkari (Nagpur), (Chandrapur), (Ghaziabad), (Gautam Buddha Nagar), (Baghpat) and Kiren Rijiju (Arunachal West).

As it tries to retain its seats, BJP will also be seeking to gain in two seats each in West Bengal, and

The is hopeful of scaling up its numbers from seven particular from Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, and Uttarakhand.

The BJP and are not seen as major players in Andhra Pradesh, which is undergoing both and Assembly elections.

BJP said the party will improve its performance compared to the last polls.

"Nationalism is a factor. The people continue to have faith in Modiji. Various government programmes have taken off, making an impact among communities seen to be loyal to other parties," Shastri told IANS.

He said there was "a visible wave" last time but this time it "is an inner current".

Congress said the party will do "much better than last time."

Prominent leaders whose fate will be decided in the first phase are Telangana Chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter (Nizamabad), Former Tarun Gogoi's son Gaurav Gogoi (Kalibor), Ramvilas Paswan's son (Jamui) and (Hyderabad).

In Tura, former is fighting former of Congress.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, April 11 2019. 15:54 IST
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