NEW DELHI BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav told a foreign news organisation that the saffron party may need allies to reach the majority mark of 272 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. The comments by Madhava key interlocutor in the BJP’s political initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeastare significant as he is the first BJP leader to publicly suggest the party may fall short of its 2014 numbers.
The comments were made in an interview with Bloomberg News editor-in-chief John Micklethwait in New Delhi on Saturday. Madhav said, If we get 271 seats on our own, we will be very happy. With NDA, we will have a comfortable majority.
Madhav appeared to concede the BJP would face losses of seats in north Indian states that played a key role in it becoming the first single party to secure a Lok Sabha majority in three decades. Madhav said the BJP hoped to offset expected losses with additional seats in the northeast, West Bengal and Odisha.
Madhav also told Bloomberg News, the BJP would have been more comfortable if it had expanded more in South India. “We have expanded in eastern India very well; if similar effort had been put into south India also, probably we would have been more comfortable,” Madhav said.
Last week, in an interview with The Hindustan Times, Madhav said the worst case scenario for the BJP would be the NDA getting 300 seats in the Lok Sabha elections.
Previously, senior BJP leaders have been more ambitious about the party’s prospects: Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said in late April, the NDA would get a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha after three phases of voting. Other leaders such as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah have also declared the BJP would get a majority of the Lok Sabha