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Sunday, April 21, 2024

BJP Secures 12 States, Congress Holds 3: India’s Electoral Landscape Ahead of 2024

With three remarkable victories on Sunday, the BJP stamped its dominance in the heartland, expanding its presence across the country only months before the general election. The party presently rules in 12 of India’s 28 states and is part of the government coalition in four more.

The Congress, on the other hand, currently has only three states – Telangana, where it defeated the KCR administration, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh. An interactive map created by India Today depicts the party’s growth across states since 2014, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the BJP to power.

As of December 2023, the BJP-ruled states constitute 58 per cent of India’s land area, comprising 57 per cent of the population. The Opposition-governed states, meanwhile, cover 41 per cent of the country’s land area with 43 per cent of the population.

The map that has developed over time, along with the BJP’s triumphs in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, makes a significant message ahead of the 2024 elections. Hours after the victories, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the BJP’s “hat-trick” in state elections guaranteed the party’s “hat-trick” in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, describing the verdict as an affirmation of the party’s “politics of good governance and transparency.”

With the three state victories, the BJP now controls nearly half of the 543 Lok Sabha seats.

Despite the fact that the Congress won Telangana, its second victory in the south this year, the outcome on Sunday is considered as a defeat. The four states are home to more than 160 million voters and account for 82 seats in the 543-member parliament.

“We always said we would win the heartland states,” BJP President JP Nadda told news agency Reuters. “The results are the outcome of our finest political strategy and work on the ground.”

Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has administrations in both Delhi and Punjab, is currently the third-largest national party.

The development of the BJP’s political map

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration initially took office in the Centre in 2014, it already had governments in many states, including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Goa, and Chhattisgarh, among others. Since then, the BJP has won 12 states, and Narendra Modi is currently one of the country’s longest-serving Prime Ministers.

By December 2017, the land area of BJP-ruled or coalition-ruled states had increased to 78%, with 69 % of India’s population. The Opposition states covered a meagre 22 per cent of land area with 31 per cent of the population.

The BJP’s presence in the North East has been one of its most remarkable successes throughout its nine-year political journey. It had little representation there in 2014, but by 2023, the party has exclusive control of three states and is part of a coalition administration in Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Sikkim. Non-BJP parties have governed Mizoram.

PM Modi stated on Sunday that efforts were made during the recent assembly elections to “divide the country based on castes.” “I kept saying that for me, four castes are important – nari shakti (women empowerment), yuva shakti (youth empowerment), kisaan (farmers) and gareeb parivaar (poor families),” he went on to remark.

The Prime Minister has repeatedly targeted the Congress over corruption, dynasty politics and appeasement. At the same time, he has highlighted the BJP’s focus on governance delivered by “double-engine” governments, and new India narrative.

Meanwhile, the rifts in the Opposition appear to have widened further after the Congress’s reversal in electoral fortunes. Far from uniting – more than ever – to stop the BJP juggernaut in 2024, allies have taken digs at the Congress for the losses.

Kunal Ghosh of the Trinamool Congress stated the outcome demonstrates the “failure of Congress” rather than the “success of BJP.” He was optimistic, however, that the setback “will not affect Lok Sabha polls, and a combined INDIA coalition will win.”

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah stated that if this is the case, the INDIA alliance “cannot win” in 2024.

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Source: India today

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