BJP’s 370 Target Not A Random Number: S Jaishankar On NDTV Battleground

GG News Bureau
New Delhi, 24th May. 
In a recent episode of NDTV’s Battleground, which delved into various aspects including the upcoming elections, foreign policy, and the nation’s economic trajectory, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar shared insights on BJP’s strategy and India’s global standing.

Jaishankar emphasized that the BJP’s target of 370 seats was not arbitrarily chosen but backed by thorough analysis. He highlighted the significant impact of the government’s policies on both middle-aged citizens, who reflect on the past decade’s transformation, and the youth, who harbor optimism for the future.

Addressing the perception of a “waveless” election, economist Surjit Bhalla pointed out that a significant increase in BJP’s vote share could indicate a potential wave, projecting a rise to 42-43%. He speculated that the NDA alliance might garner a formidable 46-48% vote share.

Jaishankar expressed confidence in the BJP’s electoral prospects, citing positive trends observed during his visits to non-traditional BJP strongholds like Kerala and Telangana. He underscored the meticulous planning behind BJP’s claims of electoral success in various states, dismissing them as mere slogans.

On the foreign policy front, Jaishankar acknowledged challenges in the neighborhood but cautioned against exaggerated perceptions, citing examples of India’s improving relations with neighboring countries like Maldives, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

Responding to opposition allegations of constitutional tampering, Jaishankar countered by highlighting the Congress’s historical dominance in amending the Constitution. He also took a swipe at Rahul Gandhi’s lack of experience in governance.

Looking ahead, Jaishankar outlined the BJP’s roadmap for a potential third term, emphasizing a focus on education, skill development, employment, technology, and manufacturing. He stressed the importance of political stability for investors and hinted at a center-state alignment post-elections.

The discussion also delved into welfare politics, with Jaishankar advocating for sustained welfare schemes while ensuring efficiency and minimal leakage. Economist Surjit Bhalla and Manish Sabharwal further elaborated on the challenges of “employed poverty” and the need for a gradual transition in the economy.

In a moment reflecting India’s evolving global stature, Sabharwal recalled a Wall Street Journal headline from 1994, contrasting India’s journey from “interesting” to “important” on the world stage.

The episode encapsulated diverse perspectives on India’s political, economic, and foreign policy landscape, offering insights into the evolving narrative as the nation approaches the upcoming elections.

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