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Modi-led NDA set for historic 3rd term with reduced mandate as rival INDIA bloc closes in
Elections '24
PM Modi arrives in party hdq in Delhi to a warm welcome amid a discomforting winning margin. Photo courtesy BJP Facebook

Modi-led NDA set for historic 3rd term with reduced mandate as rival INDIA bloc closes in

| @indiablooms | 05 Jun 2024, 01:17 am

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday returned for a rare third consecutive term in office with his allies, but fell short of an absolute majority for his BJP, in an election that gave a new lease of life to a Congress-led disparate Opposition bloc- INDIA-  as the anti-Modi union halted the saffron juggernaut to under 300.

Modi, who is set to be the second Prime Minister after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru to return to office for third consecutive term, had kickstarted the campaign for his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) setting the target for 370 seats and 400 for the NDA alliance.

Quite contrary to the "Abki bar 400 par" or "400 plus seats this time" slogan, Modi's BJP failed to achieve the majority mark (272) on its own, paving way for a return of a coalition government trend after a decade.

In what would trigger the debate of anti-incumbency setting in, Modi's BJP could manage to get to 240 while NDA touched 292, a comfortable figure to run the government but at the mercy of regional parties like TDP and JD-U.

As a slew of exit polls that gave a clear majority to Modi proved wrong, even in the win of the NDA, the celebrations are louder in the  INDIA Bloc after they bagged a higher than expected number of seats (234).

Though several political pundits, opinion and exit polls had almost written off the Opposition, Congress (99 seats) led INDIA comprising several key regional players posed a close contest to the incumbent.

BJP face drubbing in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bengal

In three states with a high number of seats- Uttar Pradesh (80), Maharashtra (48) and West Bengal (42), Modi's BJP failed to emerge as the single largest party despite exit polls showing a sweep or almost a sweep in those.

Starting with Uttar Pradesh, which is run by BJP itself under its fiery Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BJP's tally nosedived to below INDIA comprising Akhilesh Yadav led Samajwadi Party (SP) and Congress as chief constituents.

INDIA has won 43 seats (37 by SP and 6 by Congress) as opposed to BJP's 33 from the state which is often referred to as the road to Delhi (Parliament).

Prime Minister Modi, who won from the Varanasi constituency, saw a huge dip in his own winning margin. Modi won the seat from Congress' Ajay Rai by 1.5 lakh votes as opposed to over 4 lakh in 2019.

Modi's colleague in the government, Smriti Irani, who defeated then Congress president Rahul Gandhi in 2019 in Gandhi family bastion Amethi, lost to Congress' Kishori Lal Sharma by 1,67,196 votes.

Rahul Gandhi, who contested from the other family bastion Rae Bareli this time as a second seat, won by 3,90,030 votes besides bagging the Wayanad constituency of Kerala.

In Maharashtra, which saw multiple "horse-trading" and alliance crumblings leading to political instability over the last few years, NDA suffered the jolt facing the upbeat INDIA, which won 29 out of 48 seats.

In an almost re-run of the 2021 assembly elections, BJP failed to breach the TMC bastion- West Bengal- as it could manage to cobble up only 12 seats while Mamata Banerjee's party walked away with a spectacular figure of 29 out of 42 seats.

With TMC's 29 and Congress' 1 from West Bengal, INDIA managed to add 30 to its kitty while BJP's tally (at 12) went south by 6 since 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

BJP makes gains in Odisha, Telangana, maintains run in Hindi heartland

Besides coming into power for its maiden term in Odisha, the BJP has gained havoc in the state in the parliamentary polls as well.

The BJP has swept Odisha winning 20 out of 21 seats leaving 1 for Congress in the state, which saw Naveen Patnaik-led BJD rule for uninterrupted 24 years until the saffron camp dislodged it on Tuesday.

In Telangana, BJP made a surprise entry winning 8 of 17 seats to try to compensate for the heavy loss it suffered in some of the states.

What came as a saviour for the BJP in this high-pitched elections that went on for 3 months was its performance in Delhi (all 7 seats), Gujarat (25 of 26), Madhya Pradesh (all 29 seats) and Haryana (5 out of 10).

Historical feat, says Modi

Despite a weaker tally, Modi, whose BJP is the single largest party sans majority, posted on X, "People have placed their faith in NDA, for a third consecutive time! This is a historical feat in India’s history.

"I bow to the Janata Janardan for this affection and assure them that we will continue the good work done in the last decade to keep fulfilling the aspirations of people. I also salute all our Karyakartas for their hard work. Words will never do justice to their exceptional efforts."

Rahul Gandhi brandishes the Indian Constitution to attack Modi after INDIARahul Gandhi brandishes the Indian Constitution to attack Modi after INDIA's better than expected show. Photo courtesy Rahul Gandhi Facebook

Rahul Gandhi brandishes the Indian Constitution to attack Modi after INDIA's  better than expected show. Photo courtesy Rahul Gandhi Facebook

People saved Constitution and democracy, says Rahul Gandhi

Congress top leader Rahul Gandhi, who spearheaded the party's campaign, posted on X, "The people of India have saved the Constitution and democracy.

"The deprived and poor population of the country stood with India to protect their rights. Congratulations to all the alliance partners and the lion workers of Congress."

 

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