Why do Hindi speaking states support BJP

Headwind for modes

From March 27 to April 29, citizens in the Indian states of West Bengal, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and the Union Territory of Puducherry will vote for the legislative assemblies - a total population exceeding that of Brazil. The ballot papers will be counted on May 2nd. The elections are also a barometer of the ability of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form governments in parts of the country where they have not yet exercised much influence. So far, of these states, the BJP has only ruled in Assam.

More than 90 million people live in West Bengal. Mamata Banerjee, who is something like the personification of the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC), a regional party, has ruled there for a decade. The 66-year-old Banerjee sees her fight against the BJP as something between the Bengali-speaking "native" and the "foreigner" - the largely Hindi-speaking representatives of the BJP. The TMC has been the government since 2011. At that time he had replaced a 34-year communist-led government. The party holds 211 out of 295 seats in the outgoing Legislative Assembly, followed by the Indian National Congress with 44 and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), abbreviated CPI (M), with 26 seats. The BJP only has three seats.

Nevertheless, it could be a close election result. Despite the poor performance in 2016, the BJP is predicted to have good chances. Should it win in the populous state, that would also weaken the opposition's hope of being able to win against the Hindu nationalists in the all-India parliamentary elections in 2024. “This election is a war for Indian democracy. If the BJP wins, Hindu majority politics will finally have arrived in Bengal, a real last bastion, ”said Prashant Kishore, who supports Banerjee in her election campaign as political advisor, to the British public service a few days ago BBC.

The upcoming elections in Tamil Nadu on April 6 are the first after the death of two political leaders: Muthuvel Karunanidhi, long-time head of state and chairman of the Tamil nationalist DMK, and Jayaram Jayalalithaa of the national party All, which dates back to the movement of the South Indian Dravidian peoples India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). Now the next generation of politicians has taken over - Muthuvel Karunanidhi Stalin the leadership of the DMK and Edappadi Palaniswami that of the AIADMK. After the DMK has allied itself with the Congress Party, the left-wing parties and other regional actors, it hopes to return to power under M. K. Stalin after ten years. The BJP is struggling to gain a foothold in the state and has allied itself with the ruling AIADMK.

For nearly four decades, Kerala's people have alternated between the Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the United Democratic Front (UDF) for power. According to surveys, the LDF could win more than half of the 140 seats in the current election, the UDF around a third. The BJP does not get more than one or two seats in most polls.

The elections in Assam are a political triangular struggle. Against the ruling front of the BJP are the Congress-led Mahajot (Grand Alliance) and a regional alliance of two newly formed parties. Opinion polls predict that the BJP and its local allies - Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an Assamese ethnic-nationalist party, and the United People’s Party Liberal (UPPL), a Bodo-nativist party - will return to power. The prospects of the BJP for a second term could be disappointed. Hundreds of thousands in Assam were forced into legal limbo through the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which it passed. Because of the »Citizenship Law« (CAA), many indigenous Assamese fear for their cultural and ethnic influence.