Five states went into polls this year in what is being considered a dress rehearsal for the upcoming 2019 General elections. Much was hinging on the results and there was a feeling of anticipation all across the nation on the result day. Election results for all five states namely Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa are finally out and here are the biggest winners and losers.
Uttar Pradesh results
The most important of all the five states was UP with its 403 seats, 220 million voters and a very confusing political picture. The Hindi heartland was being governed by Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party. There were high hopes for the SP until there was a falling out within the party and the sidelining of Mulayam Singh Yadav, the patriarch of SP and father of chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. Right before the polls, SP tied up with the Congress in the hopes of keeping BJP out of power. UP elections had very high stakes and BJP was going all out to capture the hearts of the voters there. And it seems that all of BJP’s efforts have come to fruition as they won 312 out of 403 seats in the state. Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party and Congress alliance could only win 53 seats and Mayawati’s BSP has been reduced to 19 seats. Post the poll results Mayawati accused the BJP of EVM tempering and approached the EC for a re poll, the demand was rejected by the EC.
Punjab was a different matter altogether, the incumbent Akali Dal and BJP alliance was not expected to come back to power, and it didn’t. Aam Aadmi Party had high hopes of winning big in Punjab so they could move into the national political area. However, the results turned out to be overwhelmingly in favor of the Congress. Out of the 117 seats, Congress won 77, this is the party’s second best performance in the state, and they ore just one seat short of a two third majority. AAP will be sitting in the opposition with 20 seats and the Alliance of SAD and BJP has been decimated with SAD winning 15 seats and BJP winning only 3. This win might mark a change in fortunes for Congress which has been declining steadily since the 2014 General elections.
Congress the incumbent in Uttarakhand had a chance to hang on to one of their last Northern stronghold. But considering the fact that since the creation of Uttarakhand, no single party had been given the mandate two consecutive times, the results aren’t really a surprise. BJP won a clear majority by winning 57 out of the 70 seats. Congress could only manage 11 seats. Chief minister Harish Rawat contested two seats and lost in both.
The battle for Manipur was hard fought and the result is a clear testament to that. This North eastern state has been a Congress bastion, and the party was confident about the results. However, the results were quite nail biting with BJP and Congress going neck to neck all the way. Congress won 28 seats and BJP managed 21 seats which is a big deal in itself since BJP had hardly any presence in the state prior to this election. Congress is however 2 seats short of the 30 needed to form the party. Naga People’s Front has won 4 seats and is likely to join the BJP in the hopes of forming government. Now it is a question of which party can negotiate better as there are a total of 11 seats won by independents and others.
BJP was in power in the tiny state of Goa and there were high hopes that they might return to power. However, the results in Goa have a different tale to tell; Congress is the winner in Goa with 17 seats and BJP has come in second with 13 seats. There is however no clear majority so other minor players like MGP and GFP will play a major role in the coming days. Both these parties have won three seats apiece. AAP were confident of a big win in Goa however they were unable to win even a single seat.
The polls were a big test of PM Narendra Modi’s capabilities and reforms especially demonetization. Opposition parties tried to capitalize on the after effects of the monetary overhaul by calling it a scam, a anti poor move among other things. But it seems that the Modi wave in India is going strong and demonetization has actually boosted his image.
(Editing by Mohith Agadi; Image Credit: hellcrisis_619 / Flickr)