The BJP leadership believes that it has successfully altered the political landscape in Maharashtra for the foreseeable future by luring Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leaders led by Ajit Pawar. This move comes a year after the BJP formed a government in the state by splitting from the Shiv Sena.
The BJP has also intensified its efforts in other states such as Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Andhra Pradesh by enlisting the support of regional parties or their leaders.
Those orchestrating these political maneuvers at the national level believe that such steps are necessary when a party finds itself limited in its strongholds or encounters difficulties in expanding into regions that have historically been beyond its reach.
A party leader involved in the expansion efforts explains, “Today, the BJP has achieved a position that no other party could have dreamt of. However, we still have weak areas in many parts of the country, and we need to rely on leaders from other parties until we establish our own core base there.”
The leader draws attention to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological parent, which has always sought to expand its influence by embracing leaders beyond the realm of Hindutva.
The leader also cites success stories like Himanta Biswa Sarma, the Chief Minister of Assam, who joined the BJP in 2015 after leaving the Congress and has since played a crucial role in the party’s growth in the Northeast. Similarly, Brajesh Pathak, who switched from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), and Jitin Prasada, formerly of the Congress, serve as the BJP’s Brahmin representatives in Uttar Pradesh. Pathak is also involved in the BJP’s efforts to attract support from Pasmanda Muslims. In Telangana, former BRS leader Etela Rajender is expected to assist the BJP’s ambitions in the state as the campaign committee chairman.
However, not everyone within the BJP is pleased with these developments, particularly the second-rung leaders who have been patiently waiting for their turn and now find their positions uncertain. Many also feel uncomfortable having to justify these crossovers to their ideological bases.