BJP Election Fortunes Dramatically Increased After Easter Sunday Attack (From 55% to 66% in Key States)
Posted on March 29th, 2024

Dilrook Kannangara

The last Lok Sabha election of India was held between 11 April 2019 and 19 May 2019 (and just one delayed electorate a few months later). As always it was a staggered election. Election was held over 7 days but counting votes was done after all had voted. Comparing constituencies where the election was held on April 11 and 18, and constituencies where the election was held on April 23, 29, May 6, 12 and 19 clearly shows that BJP did very well after the April 21 Easter Sunday terrorist attack.

BJP always followed a hardline anti-Muslim stance to win elections. 2024 is no exception and so was 2019. Muslim-led Easter Sunday attack galvanized support for the BJP. In 2019 BJP won 303 seats out of 543 seats in total. That is a staggering 55% of all seats. In addition, BJP allies – Shiv Sena and a few other NDA Alliance parties also won seats.

The following table shows the number of seats in total and seats won by BJP excluding the states of Tamil Nadu and Andra Pradesh where regional tribal parties dominate elections and where national parties are represented. BJP won no seats in them.

There is a clear increase in BJP’s election fortunes before and after the Easter Sunday attack. Despite a small drop on April 23 elections, it shot up to 70% and 82% in following election days before reducing once again.

The following is a summary comparing before and after situation.

One may argue that the staggered election was held in BJP strongholds after April 21 and that’s why its election fortunes increased after that date (and had nothing to do with the Easter Sunday attack). However, it only deepens the mystery. April 21 was the perfect date to take maximum advantage for the BJP at the election.

The following table shows the states where the BJP won more than a million votes. Numbers are in millions. For materiality, constituencies where BJP failed to win or failed to come second have been disregarded (and states where the total was less than a million have been disregarded).

Indeed, the constituencies where the election was held after April 21 were crucially important for the BJP as it won a lion’s share of its votes from these constituencies. That makes the date of the attack perfect for the arousal of anti-Muslim sentiments in India without harming Indians in order to drive them to vote for Hindu nationalists.

This does not prove India was behind the attack. However, it clearly proves that BJP and its Hindu nationalist allies gained from the aftermath of the attack and gave credence to its anti-Muslim slogans.

Mysteriously the 2019 Indian election was the first Lok Sabha election in India in decades where Tamil grievances didn’t feature and the fishing dispute with Sri Lanka was also absent. Was it because a bigger election trump card was ready to be played?

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