Lok Sabha election result: INDIA bloc’s regional allies outdo Congress in putting check on BJP


As the opposition INDIA bloc leaders’ euphoria over their impressive poll show gives way to the serious business of closed-door analysis of elections results, there is a feeling among many of them that entrenched regional allies played a more effective role and delivered better than Congress in denying BJP a majority on its own.In comparison, Congress, which contested the largest number of seats among INDIA allies, continued to fare poorly against BJP in the Hindi belt and in their direct duals, barring a few exceptions, some opposition leaders said. Congress gained many of its seats by defeating the Left, some regional parties and by piggybacking on high-performing allies, they said.

The most critical factor in slowing down the BJP juggernaut was the stellar performance of INDIA bloc allies such as Akhilesh Yadav-led SP, Mamata Banerjee-led AITMC, Uddhav Thackeray-led SS (UBT) and Sharad Pawar-led NCP (SCP) in delivering numbers for the alliance in the three largest and political key states of Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra where BJP was critically dependent for a bigger show.

Equally significant was the role MK Stalin-led DMK (22) – with Congress (9) and some others in alliance – did in neutralising BJP’s push in Tamil Nadu despite the double incumbency of the state government and party MPs, opposition circles said.

  • All
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Tamil Nadu
  • West Bengal
  • Bihar
  • Karnataka
  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Telangana
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Rajasthan
  • Delhi
  • Other States

SP’s 37 seats in UP (with Congress in supporting role with six seats), Thackeray and Pawar taking command of Maha Vikas Aghadi’s fight in Maharashtra with nine and eight seats, respectively – despite suffering splits in their parties and losing their symbols and recognised names – and Trinamool pushing back BJP in West Bengal by winning 29 seats were the highlights of the INDIA alliance‘s spirited show.Congress also has 13 seats in Maharashtra as it contested more seats, but did not have local leaders matching Pawar and Thackeray. In Bengal, Congress ended up with one seat in the company of CPM (0) while fighting both Trinamool and BJP.In comparison, in all three Congress-ruled states – Karnataka, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh – the party failed to match its assembly polls victory strike rate and ceded space to BJP.In Karnataka, Congress could win only nine seats against BJP’s 17, marring the opposition expectation that the saffron party would slip far below its 2019 tally of 25. While Congress ended up sharing eight seats each with BJP in Telangana, the party lost 0-4 to BJP in Himachal.

And in other Congress-BJP direct duels, barring partial recoveries in Haryana (5-5) and Rajasthan (8-14), the Congress failed to beat back BJP in MP (0-29), Gujarat (1-25), Jharkhand (2-8) – though ally JMM won three seats – Chhattisgarh (1-10), Uttarakhand (0-5), Assam (3-9) Arunachal Pradesh (0-2), and Jammu (0-2). Congress managed a 1-1 draw with BJP in Goa and beat BJP 2-0 in Manipur.

This BJP supremacy in direct fights with Congress – despite incumbency issues of 10 years’ Modi regime – explains why the Congress tally of 99, despite the euphoric mood, is still the party’s third lowest in general elections. Significantly, the central focus of Rahul Gandhi’s two Bharat Jodo Yatras was designed to reinforce Congress’ fight against BJP in these areas, but the result shows it did not work enough on the ground.

In contrast, Congress performed better against other parties in states where BJP was weak – it won 14 seats in Kerala and seven in Punjab.

Bihar and Delhi showed Congress and allies (RJD and AAP) slipping together against BJP.

Congress’ continuing failure to retrieve its space from BJP also explains the significant 240-99 gap between BJP and Congress’ final scores.

Many opposition leaders think that had Congress come out with a better show against BJP and matched the regional biggies in the INDIA alliance, then they could have probably toppled the NDA in this election.

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