New Delhi: As counting of votes comes to an end in the 2022 Assembly polls in five states, the continued crowd pulling abilities of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath have enabled the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to create history today. It has become the first incumbent in three decades to return to power in Uttar Pradesh (UP), surviving the challenge thrown up by the Samajwadi Party (SP), which has improved its performance but failed to match the saffron camp’s might.
Which is how, despite facing farmers’ protests and massive criticism over its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the BJP stands tall on result day, winning 270 seats, though its winning margin has gone down by 52 seats this time.
Former Chief Minister and SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, who ran a spirited campaign in the state, ended up winning 128 seats, 76 more than what his party had registered in 2017, facing the saffron wave. While both BJP and SP improved their vote share, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Congress have been decimated in the country’s most populous state. The two parties, which some analysts claim have eaten into the anti-BJP votes, have won only one and two seats respectively.
With the win, Adityanath, who was picked by the BJP as the Chief Minister in 2017 surprising all political pundits, emerges as a tall leader of the Prime Minister’s party.
AAP sweeps Punjab
In what could lead to a new formation in the Opposition space, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has swept Punjab, winning 92 of 117 seats, leaving the Congress with only 18.
The 2022 Assembly polls have certainly catapulted Kejriwal to the national political stage, with Congress top guns including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, who had contested from two seats, have suffered defeats. Former chief minister and ex-Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh had no better luck with the voting machines after breaking up with the grand old outfit.
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu, who too has lost his seat, accepted his defeat in a tweet which reads, “The voice of the people is the voice of God …. Humbly accept the mandate of the people of Punjab …. Congratulations to Aap !!!”
Buoyed by the massive success, Kejriwal, whose party is now in power in the state along with the national capital, termed the victory as a great revolution. “After Delhi and Punjab, this revolution will spread to the entire country,” said Kejriwal, in a clear hint that AAP is going national.
The Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP, which were never the main opponents of the Congress, ended up winning four and two seats respectively.
BJP retains Manipur, Uttarakhand, finds advantage in Goa
The BJP has once again scripted a sweeping victory in Manipur and Uttarakhand, which went to the 2022 Assembly polls along with three other states in the last few weeks. The party has won 30 of 60 Assembly seats in Manipur, while the Congress has won only six. In Uttarakhand, the saffron brigade has won 44 of 70 seats, while the Congress has come in a distant second with 18.
In Goa, though the BJP has failed to attain the required majority (21) in the 40-member Assembly, it finds itself in an advantageous position with 20 seats, obviously expecting the support of Independent candidates to form the government. The Congress is once again a distant loser, with just 12 seats.
Facing another defeat which can massively impact his party’s political future, Congress’s de facto number two Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Humbly accept the people’s verdict. Best wishes to those who have won the mandate. My gratitude to all Congress workers and volunteers for their hard work and dedication. We will learn from this and keep working for the interests of the people of India.”
India Blooms News Service