July 16, 2024

The BJP-led NDA won 293 seats and prevailed over the Opposition alliance – INDIA, which bagged 234 seats. PM Narendra Modi will continue his third term will the help of alliance partners.

The voting dynamics in rural areas had a significant impact on the outcomes of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which previously held 201 rural constituencies in the 543-member parliament, retained only 126 of these seats. This represented a loss of approximately one-third of its rural parliamentary constituencies, marking a major setback for the BJP in achieving its majority mark. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) appeared to struggle with narrative control, particularly in rural regions. While the NDA performed exceptionally well in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat and Chhattisgarh, it experienced notable setbacks in Uttar Pradesh.

Voting outcome in Uttar Pradesh was a big shocker to many of the Political Analytics. Akhilesh Yadav’s led Samajwadi Party has thrown up a big surprise as it won 37 seats. India National Congress, which fought in alliance with the SP and is part of the INDIA bloc, has won six seats in the state. Collectively the opposition INDIA bloc has won 43 seats in Uttar Pradesh whereas the BJP managed to bag only 33 seats.

The election strategies and promises of many political parties have demonstrated that caste-based politics continue to hold significant relevance in India’s elections. In Uttar Pradesh, caste identity triumphed over the Hindutva. The consolidation of votes from backward classes, Dalits, and Muslims, along with a weakened Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP), propelled the INDIA bloc to secure a record 43 seats out of a total of 80 seats. The SP-Indian National Congress (INC) partnership secured a substantial number of seats not only in its stronghold—known as the Yadav land (Etah, Etawah, Firozabad, Mainpuri, and Kannauj)—but also in the Bundelkhand region and in Central and East UP dominated by OBCs – Kurmi, Maurya, Shakya, Kushwaha, Rajbhar and Nishad communities as well as Dalit communities including Jatav, Pasi, Kori, Valmiki and Dhobis.

While the BJP focused on integrating various backward castes under the Hindutva fold, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc tried to win over Other Backward Caste voters by promising to conduct a caste survey. Also, redistribution of wealth and proportional representation through breaking the Supreme Court’s reservation cap of 50% has gained traction among the sections of backward communities.

Muslim vote bank remained consolidated in favor of the I.N.D.I.A. bloc. Through OBC reservation status and many other Muslim appeasement promises I.N.D.I.A. bloc have gained mostly of the Muslim votes. BJP’s Pasmanda Card has failed at the same time the opposition has managed to galvanize Muslim vote bank. A notable case happened in the UP’s Rampur where BJP has got 0 votes in a village which holds 100% of Muslims voters around 2322. This village has got 532 homes under BJP’s PM Awaas Yojna.

Promises made in the manifesto, particularly by the Indian National Congress (INC), of irrational freebies funded by public funds before elections, have influenced voters, undermined the foundations of a free and fair election, and disturbed the level playing field, thereby compromising the integrity of the electoral process. This is a concerning issue for the health of a democracy and its electoral processes. Such promises not only manipulate voters but also encourage a tendency among Indian voters to seek irrational freebies, which can impede the nation’s growth and development. This unethical practice is akin to bribing the electorate at the expense of the public exchequer to come in power and must be avoided to preserve democratic principles and practices.

The Role of Regional Parties is vital for the government formation shows outcome of the election result as no party has crossed the majority seats. Even though many of the political parties have faced the setbacks, many regional parties and other political parties that are not recognized as “national parties,” played crucial roles in the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. It will be difficult for the BJP led NDA to form the national government without the support from the Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP). Meanwhile, the Opposition’s INDIA bloc managed to put up a tough contest against the NDA, partly because of its allies, such as the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).

The following is a list of political parties that have performed well:

Uttar PradeshAkhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP) emerged as the single largest party, winning 37 out of the total 80 seats. The party’s stellar performance was a significant setback for the BJP and a boost to the I.N.D.I.A. bloc.
BiharNitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) (JDU) won 12 seats. The party’s contribution to the NDA government will be significant.
Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party (TDP) swept the Lok Sabha elections, winning 16 of the 25 seats in the state.
West BengalMamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) emerged as the single-largest party in the state, securing 29 out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats. Despite contesting independently, without an alliance with the Congress, TMC remains a part of the INDIA bloc at the national level.
Tamil NaduMK Stalin’s Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) won the maximum number of seats, 21, of the total 39 parliamentary constituencies in the state.
MaharashtraThe Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackrey) secured nine seats, while the Nationalist Congress Party, led by Sharadchandra Pawar, won eight seats. Though their individual tallies may not have been the highest in the state, their collective contribution played a crucial role in bolstering the INDIA bloc’s resurgence against the ruling NDA.

Parties which wiped out in Lok Sabha 2024:

BSPfaced a major blow as it failed to open its account in Uttar Pradesh in the 2024 polls.
BJDis another regional party that witnessed a major setback in the 2024 Lok Sabha, as well as assembly elections in Odisha. The BJP ended Patnaik’s 24-year rule in the state after winning a comfortable majority in the 147-member assembly. In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJD didn’t win a single seat.
BRSwhich was elected in Telangana in the first-ever assembly elections and ruled the state for around 10 years, won zero Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.
YSRCPwhich has governed Andhra Pradesh since 2019, won just four of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party had won 22 Lok Sabha seats in 2019.
AIDMKlost the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu in 2024 as its seat share was reduced to zero seats this time.
SADwhich once ruled Punjab, won one Lok Sabha seat in the state — down from two in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Its vote share also dropped from 27 per cent to 13 per cent this time.

The I.N.D.I.A. bloc has achieved partial success in shifting the focus towards local issues to counter the ‘Modi Magic.’ The BJP-NDA alliance faces a decade of anti-incumbency, and the strategy of emphasizing local concerns has proven to be a shrewd move by the opposition. Various issues such as paper leaks, the reinstatement of the old pension scheme, and seat distribution have emerged as significant advantages for opposition parties, which they have effectively capitalized on. While these elections initially appeared to be adopting a presidential style, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc has managed to resist this trend through the localization of issues.

Additionally, the I.N.D.I.A. bloc has demonstrated unity by collectively sharing and distributing seats, which significantly contributed to the decline in BJP-NDA seats. In contrast to previous elections where opposition parties were fragmented, leading to vote dispersion and giving BJP an advantage, this time many constituencies witnessed a united front of opposition parties akin to a ‘combo package’ competing against the BJP. This consolidated approach has bolstered the vote share of the opposition parties, providing a significant boost to the I.N.D.I.A. bloc.

Despite numerous promises, tactics, and attempts at unification, the BJP has garnered a greater number of votes than the entire I.N.D.I.A. bloc combined. While the rainbow coalition put up a formidable resistance against the BJP juggernaut, it was ultimately unable to prevent the BJP-NDA from forming a government. This outcome underscores the need for the BJP’s top leadership to give greater consideration to their alliance partners moving forward.

The ideological aspect of this elections was quite interesting. The “Hindutva” card has still proved to mark a great public acceptance although the social welfarism and Caste Politics have given a dent on the majority status. In Uttar Pradesh especially which was expected to do a great for BJP has given a shocker. Samajwadi Party has undertaken social engineering by the BJP focused on integrating various backward castes under the Hindutva fold by forming the ‘PDA’ (Pichda, Dalit, and Alpsankhyak) coalition. In Bihar, the political landscape is shaped by the ‘MY BAAP’ (Muslim, Yadav, Bahujan, Agra, Adhi Abadi and Poor) alliance. In Maharashtra, Marathas and Muslims have united behind the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray).

Several ancestral seats have been reclaimed by political parties, highlighting the enduring significance of family politics in India. Constituencies such as Amethi, Raebareli, and Kannauj have returned to the hands of traditional parties. Public sentiment appears to have disapproved of the BJP’s strategy of ‘divide and rule’ within political parties in many states. Notably, in Maharashtra, the performance of Shiv Sena (Eknath Shinde’s wing), was lackluster in the elections

Stories To Highlight

Reliability on Brand Modi: Apparently the voices are coming from the ground level leaders that BJP has lacked in choosing the right candidates for the constituencies. Many new candidates have been given tickets. It seems that there was an overdependency on “Brand Modi” from BJP side in these elections. This resulted in the delinking with the on-ground situation and issues of the constituencies.

Ram Mandir Factor: The consecration of the Ram Temple in Uttar Pradesh led many to believe that the state was secured for the BJP. However, the election results have revealed that the ruling party underestimated the ground-level discontent. In the Faizabad constituency, which encompasses Ayodhya, voters elected an SP candidate, despite numerous developmental projects initiated by the BJP in the region. Apart from the Dalit factor in Ayodhya, two primary reasons contributed to the BJP’s decline:

a) Disconnect with local issues: Despite the booming markets due to the construction of the Ram Mandir, the constituency grapples with various on-ground challenges. These include inadequate or delayed compensation for the displaced population under the Ram Path Project, delays in obtaining legal rights over government-allotted lands, demolitions of houses without satisfactory compensation, apprehensions of public displacement in the name of beautification projects, and a prevalent crisis in public sewerage systems.

b) The timing of the elections: The outcome could have differed significantly had the elections coincided with the inauguration of the Ram Mandir. This event could have potentially catalyzed a ‘Ram Mandir Wave’ not only in Ayodhya but across the entire nation. However, the BJP opted not to capitalize on this opportunity for electoral gains. The five-month gap between the elections and the Ram Mandir inauguration led to a fading of the memory and impact of the event on the electorate.

West Bengal (Didi’s Dominance Continues): West Bengal was a big shocker. Even after the Sandeshkhali Case, Mamata Banerjee’s TMC has managed to dominate the election. Even so that in the Basirhat constituency, which includes Sandeshkhali the BJP’s candidate Rekha Patra, a survivor of the violence has lost the election to TMC’s candidate. TMC won 29 seats and BJP 12 seats in West Bengal.

BJP’s Best Performing States: BJP has excelled in Madhya Pradesh, Gujrat, Himanchal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. It has either clean swept these states or missed the mark by few seats. BJP-NDA have convincingly won the elections in Andra Pradesh with the help of Chandra Babu Naidu’s TDP and in Odisha beating Naveen Patnaik’s BJD. BJP came out outstandingly in Arunachal Pradesh elections reaffirming Party’s border policies.

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