A reflection on Lok Sabha results

Nitya Chakraborty
Democracy is the biggest winner in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections as the results declared on June 4 underline the diversity in the political views of the largest democracy of the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was the one man mascot of the ruling party BJP has got his biggest rebuff from the 64.2 crore voters who exercised their franchise in the seven phase 18th Lok Sabha elections from April 19 to June 1 this year.
Prime Minister campaigned continuously in the last two months in support of his party slogan is baar 400 paar for NDA out of which the BJP’s target was 370. A big hype was created throughout the country that the BJP was sure to achieve that through June 4 results. The final position is that the NDA tally is hovering around 290 and the BJP’s own figure around 240 which is more than sixty seats below its 2019 Lok Sabha level. It is also 42 seats below its 2014 tally of 282 .In 2024LokSabha elections. INDIA bloc is only sixty plus seats behind NDA.
Prime Minister had tried to polarise the nation on communal lines. He also made virulent attacks on the Congress and the regional parties with the slogan of putting the same party at the centre and the states. The resurgence of the regional parties as evidenced in the poll results gives a guarantee that the BJP’s objective of centralising all powers by eroding federalism will not succeed. The coming days will be tough for the new government which will be led by the minority BJP party.
What are the takeaways from the 2024 Lok Sabha results?
First, the stature of Narendra Modi is diminished. He was trying to project himself as a Viswaguru and a sort of Messiah indicating even he is invincible.
That has been totally busted. Narendra Modi has been turned into a normal politician now who will be under tremendous pressure from his NDA allies in the formation of the Government and the BJP’s programme of more Hindutva has got a jolt. The fall in seats of the BJP turning it into a minority in the Lok Sabha will lead to turmoil in Sangh Parivar. PM and his close aides in the Party acted unilaterally in the recent months concerning poll strategy to the chagrin of RSS and other units of the Sangh Parivar. PM will have to face the wrath of these Hindutva forces who were waiting to get their agenda completed during the third term of Narendra Modi. Modi has failed in their eyes.
The second takeaway is that the BJP has been trounced in the Hindi speaking states. It was devastation for the saffron camp as far as the Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Haryana are concerned. The Party has retained Madhya Pradesh in full but that has been due to the weak Congress leadership in the state and the former chief minister Kamal Nath’s flip flops over joining the BJP. The entire organisation was in a mess in Madhya Pradesh. Under an able Congress leadership, the party could have performed much better in the state.
Hindi heartland states are the main strength of the BJP and this is taken as the party’s core strength since the area belongs to its Hindutva base. The collapse of the party in the leading state Uttar Pradesh is sure to lead to rethinking among the BJP top bosses including the chief minister Yogi Adityanath. Yogi’s future is at stake as he was the main leader of the BJP in undertaking the campaign in UP. Samajwadi Party under Akhilesh Yadav has done a big turnaround and what is significant is that the Congress-SP alliance has clicked in Uttar Pradesh. It has to be taken forward in the coming days for the coming battles in the state culminating in the next assembly polls in 2027.
The third takeaway is the emergence of Rahul Gandhi as a formidable leader who is getting more acceptability from the people. Rahul has commanded the Congress campaign exceedingly well. He has been consistent in attacking the PM and the BJP on the core issues, including Hindutva, unemployment, price rise. In fact, Rahul has shown all through a maturity of a leader who can deal with the coalition partners. The Congress has nearly doubled its Lok Sabha seats in 2024 polls but the follow up on the basis of the lessons from the 18th Lok Sabha elections results, can give good dividends to the party in the coming days. The fault lines are known, those can be taken care of for remedial actions by the Congress leadership. Congress, the 139 year old party of the country can prepare itself for working an effective driver of the INDIA bloc.
INDIA bloc has performed well in many states. It has been possible by the coordinated action of the grassroots workers of the constituent parties. Many young leaders have emerged through this Lok Sabha battle. Apart from Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Aditya Thackeray, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Kalpana Soren and Abhishek Banerjee are the young leaders who are expected to be the vanguard of INDIA bloc in the coming days. Both Uddhav Thackeray and M K Stalin have shown how joint leadership can give big shocks to the BJP and NDA. INDIA bloc has to be strengthened at all levels to deal with the turbulent political situation in the coming days.
The fourth takeaway is the changing political mood in the southern states. In Andhra Pradesh, it seems that the TDP-BJP combination will be replacing YSRCP government of Jagan Mohan Reddy. TDP has staged a big comeback. In Tamil Nadu and Kerala, BJP has improved its presence marginally. In Karnataka, the Congress improved its tally compared to 2019 polls but the BJP-JD(S) combination was effective. In Telangana, both BJP and the Congress gained at the cost of BRS, the regional party. Again in Odisha, the regional BJD was trounced by the BJP in the polls. This was a defeat of a regional party at the hands of the BJP which was not unexpected.
That way, there is no straight line regarding the regional parties also. TDP has gained vastly while YSRCP, BRS and the BJD have lost. But still, on the whole, the regional parties have gained in many states and that is very positive for strengthening the federal polity of India. In 18th Lok Sabha elections, the NDA’s vote share was 46 per cent, 2 percent less than 2019 figure while INDIA bloc’s vote share in 2024 polls was 41 per cent recording a 8 per cent rise. This downslide in BJP votes is linked to the diminution of Narendra Modi’s standing in the last days of the campaign.
Among the regional parties, in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress improved its 2019 tally by 9 to 10 seats. It will be around 31 or 32 as against 10 or 11 of BJP. TMC improved its vote share to 47 per cent – a rise of 4 per cent in 2024 polls while the BJP’s vote share went down by 3 per cent to 37 per cent. Despite all the allegations against the TMC government, TMC has improved its tally substantially by defeating the BJP and the Congress Left combination. Mamata is an important leader of INDIA. The INDIA bloc’s other leaders have to ensure that TMC’s relations with other INDIA partners are smoothened. The CPI(M) leaders at the centre have to analyse the Lok Sabha results of their candidates in Bengal and find out honestly why there was no turnaround in the last five years. They should carry out a thorough investigation, independent of the state leadership..
In fact, INDIA bloc was quite close to the door of power in 2024 elections. 2024 could have been another 2004, but that has not happened as yet. that is a reality. INDIA leaders must meet now to appraise the situation honestly and work out the strategy. (IPA Service)

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