Nitish Kumar's 'Ghar Wapsi' has thrown the opposition into complete disarray. The dream of weaving a grand coalition is now in tatters - with the loss of a clean, competent, credible face - now back in National Democratic Alliance's fold, the BJP's job for 2019 polls appears more than half done. But is it so? Can the BJP increase its tally beyond 282 seats that they got in 2014 general elections?
In the last general election, BJP swept Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and reduced the opposition to a few seats in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh. It's really difficult to increase its seats from these states. If NDA has to increase its tally it must look at those states where its performance was way below even satisfactory level - West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Kerala - where BJP won a paltry five seats out of 120. However, political experts believe that it is not the electoral arithmetic that works in India but rather the mood of the people, the 'wave' or the lack of it, that decides the outcome. No doubt, as of today, NDA under PM Narendra Modi is in an advantageous position and the opposition is grappling to figure out ways to counter him. But with elections more than a year-and-half away and the Indian electorate never failing to throw up a surprise, can a fight be completely written off?