Assembly elections: Time to celebrate for BJP and AAP; opposition shrinks

Punjab, another big state, has gone out of the bag of the Congress, the BJP’s main rival at the national level. In fact, the Congress was routed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab. AAP will form its government in a full-fledged state for the first time.

Assembly elections: Time to celebrate for BJP and AAP; opposition shrinks

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has succeeded in forming governments once again in four states — Uttar Pradesh (UP), Uttarakhand, Goa and Mizoram. This success has paved its way for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, too. However, it was a sad day for the opposition camp. Punjab, another big state, has gone out of the bag of the Congress, the BJP’s main rival at the national level. In fact, the Congress was routed by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab. AAP will form its government in a full-fledged state for the first time. These elections have proved once again that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is BJP’s winning face. Prior to the elections, Modi visited UP and Uttarakhand several times. It is now believed that now that the BJP has won in UP, the BJP will face little trouble in the coming Presidential election. The tenure of current President Ramnath Kovind ends on 24 July 2022.

Modi has said that the election results are like a seal of affirmation for the governance model of the party. Addressing the workers at the party headquarters, he said, “Uttar Pradesh has given several prime ministers, but it has re-elected a chief minister for the first time.”

Speaking on the BJP win in four states, Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut said, “The party has won due to its better electoral management and it should learn to digest success.” He also said that the electoral management of the Congress was not proper in Punjab. Remember that Maharashtra has a coalition government of the Shiv Sena, Congress and NCP.

UP: Issues like inflation and unemployment come to no avail

 As per the information from the Election Commission of India, BJP has won 255 seats. Its allies Apna Dal (Soneylal) and NISHAD have won 12 and six seats respectively. The Samajwadi Party (SP) has won 113 seats, Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party six seats and the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) eight seats. For other parties, the figures read as follows: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) – 1, Congress – 2 and Jansatta Dal Loktantrik – 2. The state has 403 Assembly seats.

Analysts say that besides communal polarization, the BJP benefited in UP from government schemes, especially the free food distribution. Last year, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), too, had benefited in West Bengal from free food distribution and monthly cash transfers to women. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will only grow in stature after this election. He may also get a place on the parliamentary board.

Speaking about the party’s victory in UP, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “This is people’s faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s welfare schemes for the villages, the poor and the farmers. People have also given their seal of approval to Yogi Adityanath’s good governance.”

The BSP has been marginalized for the first time after being active in state politics for three decades. In 2017, it had bagged 19 seats with a vote percentage of 21, but this time its support has been reduced to 12.7 per cent of the votes. It is believed that many BSP voters went in favour of the BJP. There was this assumption that Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM would split the SP votes, but it failed to cause any major upheaval. It got a total of 0.43 per cent of votes and on no seat did it cross the tally of 5,000 votes.

Issues raised by the opposition — inflation, unemployment, stray cattle etc. — were heard only in the election campaigns. They don’t seem to have made any major impact on the results. Except that the SP seats have nearly trebled. BJP has suffered more loss in western UP and the SP alliance has benefited from this.

Punjab: A new chapter begins in politics

In Punjab, the AAP has registered a historic victory by bagging 92 of the 117 seats in the Assembly. Congress has got 18, BSP one, BJP two and Independent one. While Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi lost in both the seats, Jeevanjot Kaur of AAP defeated state president of Congress Navjot Singh Sidhu and Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia in Amritsar East. This may be the last election of Captain Amarinder Singh, who has lost from Patiala.

Addressing the workers at the party headquarters in New Delhi, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said that people supported their party in spite of opposition conspiracies. He said, “They called me a terrorist, but people have said that Kejriwal is not a terrorist, but a true patriot. The results of the Punjab elections are a big revolution. These have shaken big seats of power in Punjab.” Other party leaders say that the Delhi model has attracted the Punjab voters substantially.

It will be the first time in three decades that there will be no member from the Badal family in the Punjab Assembly. Parkash Singh Badal lost to Gurmeet Singh Khudian of the AAP by more than 11,000 votes in Lambi. His son and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal was defeated by Jagdeep Kamboj of the AAP by about 31,000 votes. Parkash Singh Badal’s nephew Manpreet Singh Badal lost from Bathinda Urban and son-in-law Adaish Partap Singh Kairon from Patti. Bikram Singh Majithia, a relative of Sukhbir Badal, lost from Amritsar East.

Hailing the AAP victory in Punjab, NCP leader Sharad Pawar said, “This is like a shock for the Congress. The Aam Aadmi Party has got success here due to its performance in Delhi.” He added, “The anti-BJP parties should not lose heart. Rather, they should focus on the reasons that have led to their loss.”   

Uttarakhand: If Modi is there, everything is possible

The BJP won 47 seats in Uttarakhand. The Congress got 19 seats, the BSP two and the Independents two. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami himself lost from Khatima, however. Thanking the people for the two-thirds majority his party received in the state, Dhami said, “I have always asked the people to keep in mind the work the state government has done in the road and health sectors under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” He expressed happiness that the people had this time bucked the trend of changing the government (party) every five years.

This is the first time in the 21-year history of the state that a party will come to power in successive terms. The results clearly indicate that there was a Modi wave that made people forget the local issues. Leaders who contested as rebels on being denied tickets by the BJP have also lost.

At one point in time, it was believed that there was anti-incumbency in the state. Some time back Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s video went viral in which he cast doubt upon the formation of a BJP government in Uttarakhand. Congress had made an issue of the fact that three chief ministers were changed within just a few months. But all such issues failed to make an impact. Besides, intra-fighting within the main opposition party also contributed to its loss.

Goa: BJP govt again with support

BJP has succeeded in winning 20 seats in Goa. AAP has got two seats here, Goa Forward Party one, Congress 11, Maharashtrawadi Gomantak party (MGP) two and Revolutionary Goans Party one. BJP has claimed the support of the two MGP MLAs and the three Independents. Sadanand Tanavade, the state party president, said that his party had received letters of support from them.

Admitting his party’s loss, state Congress chief Girish Raya Chodankar said, “I take the responsibility for this. We could not convince the people properly to stop the splitting of votes.” He added, “I have failed as the Goa state Congress committee president and time has come to replace me.”

Manipur: Govt on its own this time

The BJP has won 32 of the 60 seats in Manipur. The Congress has got five seats here, Janata Dal (United) six, Kuki People’s Alliance two, Naga Peoples Front (NPF) five, National People’s Party (NPP) seven and the Independents three. In 2017, the BJP had formed a coalition government here with NPF and NPP. But this time it can form a government on its own.