The outcome of the five state elections will have an impact on the Presidential poll and will also bring some change in the Upper House of Parliament as except for Punjab the other four states were ruled by the BJP with brute majorities in UP and Uttarakhand.
The Bharatiya Janata Party may not be that comfortably placed in the Presidential election which is likely to be conducted in June-July 2022, as the President is indirectly elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both the Houses of Parliament and the Assemblies.
The electoral colleges comprises 776 MPs of both the Houses and 4,120 MLAs of all the states and Union Territories. The electoral college has 1,098,903 votes, and a majority is 549,452 votes. As far as the value of votes is concerned, Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of votes, approximately 83,824 followed by Maharashtra and West Bengal.
The BJP has a brute majority in the assemblies of UP and Uttarakhand and any reduction of seats will put the game in the opposition camp as the Chief Ministers of different regional parties are trying to join hands.
If they join hands and put up a joint candidate, the BJP will find it difficult to get its nominee elected. The only way would be a division in the opposition camp which may be a difficult task. After West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who is trying to expand her party, Trinamool Congress’ footprints at the national level, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR) had a meeting with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.
Not only is the Mumbai meeting important but KCR is also meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. Even Mamata Banerjee is likely to travel to Hyderabad to meet KCR. He has the support of former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda who could be another possible candidate for President.
However the Chief Ministers trying to unite en bloc is not a good sign for the Congress which may get isolated in the opposition while the BJP has to search for a consensus candidate for the Presidential poll.
KCR’s new initiative is to save his home turf as the BJP is expanding its base in Telangana. He is being forced to take on the BJP due to domestic political compulsions, otherwise the party had been bailing out the BJP on key legislation in the Upper House since 2014.
The southern states and Maharashtra account for more than 200 Lok Sabha seats and almost half of the electoral college which could be crucial in the next Presidential poll. If the regional parties team up, it will be unlikely that the BJP will have its way in the choice of President.
Thus the electoral outcome in the five states which include UP will impact the presidential election.
If the opposition puts up a candidate like NCP supremo Sharad Pawar who is capable of mustering support from others like the Trinamool Congress, the BJD, the TRS, the YSRCP, the CPI-M, the CPI and the other parties, then the BJP will have a tough task ahead of it.
The earlier NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to field A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to get support from non-NDA parties, while UPA candidates Pratibha Patil and Pranab Mukherjee had attracted support from many political parties.