The BJP’s “Layer-Cake” Strategy in Uttar Pradesh

Now that the U.S. election is over and done with, soon Indians (and many others) will turn their attention to the upcoming elections in the gargantuan north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. UP is home to 144 million eligible voters (which is roughly equal to the number of registered voters in the United States today). If it were a country, it would be the world’s fifth largest (on par with Brazil).

I have a new column in Mint that explores the emerging electoral strategy of the BJP, which sees a real opportunity to seize power in India’s most populous state. The strategy, to use a clunky analogy, resembles a “five-layer cake.” The five layers are: nationalism, Hindu majoritarianism, Modi’s personal popularity, the TINA (There is No Alternative) factor, and strong (if not superficial) headline economic numbers.

To be sure, the BJP’s five-layered cake is hardly foolproof, but it could represent the party’s best chance of swaying voters to its side in a state where its organizational foundations are wanting. The stakes could not be higher, and the risks are—pardon the pun—already baked in.

You can read the full piece here

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