No one seems to disagree with the fact that the Congress has been caught in five state assembly elections in India. Barring small northeastern states like Mizoram, the BJP is 3-1 Congress in the remaining four states. Later in the day, a Congress supporter on his X (ex-Twitter) handle wrote, Congress won in Telangana after so many days without party president Mallikarjun Kharge or Rahul Gandhi or any other leader showing the courtesy of congratulating the people of the state. He also wrote that BJP did very well in local government elections in Uttar Pradesh on the day of BJP’s massive defeat in Karnataka. For this reason, starting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the top level party leaders did not forget to congratulate their leaders-workers-supporters. This is the difference between BJP and Congress.
The Congress supporter must have written this out of deep sadness on social media. There is no mistake in his words. Now see how the BJP top level is celebrating after winning three states of the Hindi belt (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh). On the day of declaration of results (December 3), Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself came to the party office in Delhi and congratulated everyone for the ‘hat-trick’ victory and also said that the BJP under his leadership is going to achieve a hat-trick in 2024. That is, the BJP is going to come back to power after winning the Lok Sabha elections held in May 2024 and Narendra Modi will be the Prime Minister. After being in power for 15 consecutive years, he will break all the records of the past. Like Virat Kohli broke the record of Sachin Tendulkar’s 49th century (in ODI cricket) at his own ground.
This hat trick claim of BJP is now being pushed by the Indian media. From common people to experts and veteran journalists are starting to firmly believe that it is not the work of Congress or India Alliance to unseat Narendra Modi in 2024. Yogendra Yadav, a former poll analyst or sephologist, shed light on the opposite side of this seemingly credible intense campaign. In a video message, he tried to put a different spin on the poll results in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Telangana. It is understood that even after putting on the cloak of politics, he still could not give up the habit of seeing the results of the vote in different ways.
Yogendra first looked at the polling statistics. Citing the Election Commission of India’s calculations, he said that BJP got 41.7% and Congress 39.6% votes in Rajasthan. In other words, the BJP has won the state by getting only two percent votes. The BJP goes down if the Congress combines the votes of the CPIM and BAP (Bharatiya Adivasi Party) with it in this state. This is where Congress failed.
Similarly in Chhattisgarh BJP 46.3% and Congress 42.2%; In Madhya Pradesh BJP got 48.6% and Congress 40% and in Telangana BJP got 13.9%, IRS 37.4% and Congress 39.4%. Out of these four states, BJP won three. But in four states, BJP got a total of 4 crore 81 lakh 33 thousand 463 votes. And Congress got 4 crore 90 lakh 77 thousand 907. Those who are jubilant over BJP’s victory forget that despite losing in three states, Congress got nine and a half lakh more votes than BJP. The harsh reality of democracy is that many times you have to lose even if you get more votes.
Yogendra says, it is not bad as a psychological warfare or a psychological battle as everyone from Narendra Modi to the BJP wants to play a hat trick in 2024. But they forget that in 2003, BJP won in three Hindi speaking states (Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh). But Congress won the Lok Sabha in 2004. Similarly, Congress won these three states in 2018, but everyone knows the result of 2019. Narendra Modi won a large number of seats and made the BJP sit in the Delhi Assembly for the first time with a single majority.
Another aspect of this is that the number of Lok Sabha seats in these four states is 82. During the Modi storm in 2019, the BJP and its allies won 65 of the 82 seats. And Congress got only 6. If the Congress retains the votes it got in the four states in November 2023 elections, the BJP will get 46 seats and the Congress will get 28 seats. In fact, these aspects of the vote have been completely lost in the hype of the hat-trick. And public memory is so weak that once something is thrust into it, there is no more talk.
It is a fact that the BJP has yet to make any gains in non-Hindi speaking South India. But Modi government is not enough of efforts. But in the Hindi-speaking region, Narendra Modi is still the only leader. There is no leader in the Congress or any other anti-BJP party to challenge him. Keeping this in mind, BJP knows that Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Assam are important for it to come back to power in India in 2024. Dominance must be maintained here. The organization of BJP and RSS is very strong in these six states. RSS as an organization has as much role as Narendra Modi has behind BJP’s victory. The number of Lok Sabha seats in these six states is 185. In the last 2019 elections, BJP won 162 of these seats i.e. 87.5%. As a result, their main goal is to retain it, no doubt about that.
Apart from this, the states under the eye of India Alliance are Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka, West Bengal, Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Jharkhand. The total number of seats in these eight states is 247. In 2019, BJP won 99 seats. In seven of these eight states, All India alliance partners are in power. Only in Maharashtra is the BJP forming a government with a splinter group of Shiv Sena in power. There NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray) alliance is quite strong. As a result, India has a good chance of doing well if the alliance fights together.
Apart from this, Andhra Pradesh (25) and Odisha (21) have 46 Lok Sabha seats. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jaganmohan Reddy. His father late YS Rajasekhar Reddy was a top Congress leader and Chief Minister of that state. After his father’s untimely death, Jaganmohan wanted to take his father’s place. But the Gandhi family could not show that generosity. As a result, Jaganmohan not only came to power in the state by naming the party (YSR Congress) after his father’s name, but also wiped out the Congress from the state. Congress may apologize for its past mistakes and invite Jaganmohan to the India Alliance. It is wrong to think that Jaganmohan will not respond if there is sincerity. Because after forgetting the past, Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress, Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) joined the India Alliance with the Congress. Since 1990, the Congress party has split 39 times. Late President of India Pranab Mukherjee also left the Congress and formed a new party called Subhashvadi Congress. And a big reason behind this so much breaking is definitely the Gandhi family and their friends who are holding the lathi of Congress.
Odisha Biju Janata Dal leader Naveen Patnaik is known as a progressive person and leader. Chief Minister for 23 consecutive years since 2000. He has changed the opening of India’s most backward state. Now no one can sneer at calling the people of his kingdom ‘fly’. He is with the state. He has no objection to go with anyone who will help in the development of the state. And most of the parties except the Congress in the India alliance are known as regional parties. As a result, there should be no problem with Naveen if there is sincerity. Rather, most of India’s regional parties are opposed to the BJP’s monopoly of power.
Aam Aadmi Party is in power in Delhi (7) and Punjab (13). They are in India alliance. If the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party can form a proper alliance then the others will not get even one seat out of 20 in these two states. As a result, simple math calculations say that India Alliance has a good chance of doing well in 313 seats.
The chances of doing this better will only be when the Congress as a party remembers that in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress and the BJP fought directly in 192 seats. Only 16 seats were held by the Congress. The tendency to ignore allies in the four state assembly elections last November was strong within the Congress leadership. If India deviates from that path and allies wholeheartedly with its allies, who can say that 2004 or 2019 will not repeat itself in 2024?
Author: Executive Editor, Digital Division, Independent Television