BJP losing popularity with every passing day, says China’s state media

Ananth Krishnan Beijing July 10, 2018

China’s official Xinhua News Agency has said that the BJP ‘has been losing its popularity with each passing day’, in an analysis published on Sunday that speculated on the possibility of early general elections.

The article- ‘a news analysis’ published by Xinhua and written from New Delhi-attributed this to the lynching incidents and what it described as the “not-so-successful economic policies of Demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax).

“Expectations that the general elections would be preponed stem from the fact that the BJP has been losing its popularity with each passing day, after suffering repeated defeats in recent by-polls (in parliamentary constituencies) in politically big states like Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Bihar, Xinhua reported.

It cited a recent Lokniti-CSDS (Centre for the Study of Developing Societies) poll that “found that the drop in Modi’s popularity has been quite sharp”.

Pointing to the recent by-polls in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan and West Bengal, the article said that, “The repeated defeats of the BJP candidates in the parliamentary by-elections have given enough indications that the main ruling party is facing a tough incumbency factor among the country’s voters.”

“The key reasons cited for BJP’s poor performance in recently held by-polls could be summarised as increasing incidents of lynching on dalits.. and the minority communities, particularly the Muslims over beef controversies, and the “not-so-successful” economic policies of Demonetisation and GST (goods and services tax).”

The write-up also quoted the July 9 India Today cover story on the BJP’s new gameplan for 2019 saying that “BJP was concerned at losing popularity among the Dalits and lower caste people.”

In Beijing, however, the general sense among strategic experts who follow India is an expectation that Prime Minister Modi will return for a second term, although some have speculated he might return with a weaker position.

To that end, Beijing has also been keen to portray Modi’s relations with President Xi as being aimed at the long-term, and suggested it was investing in building a close relationship between the two in convening the informal summit in Wuhanthe first of its kind hosted by Xi.

Before the April 28-29 Wuhan summit with President Xi, Chinese officials said they saw Modi as a widely popular leader.

Comparing the two leaders, Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou told reporters then, “Xi and Modi both have strategic vision and historic responsibility. They are both widely supported by their people and have devoted a lot of energy to this relationship.” ( India Today )