Understanding India's Political Landscape
With the countdown to the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections underway, political circles are buzzing with speculations and calculations. The composition and alliances of ruling political parties hold immense significance in shaping our political future in the ever-changing world of Indian politics. Amidst all this excitement, we have prepared a series of 4 maps to shed light on the current scenario.
India has 28 states and 8 Union Territories, 31 out of which have provisions for a legislative assembly. Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Leh, Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu, and Lakshadweep are the five Union Territories without legislatures. An anomaly here is Jammu & Kashmir which has been under President's rule since its reorganization in 2019, as it still awaits elections to its legislative assembly. In 15 out of the remaining 30 regions, regional and other state political parties are the major political players.
Approximately 45% of the Lok Sabha seats, specifically 244 out of the total 543 Lok Sabha seats, are attributed to these 15 states and union territories combined. The following table provides a comparative analysis of the Lok Sabha results from 2019, 2014, and 2009 within these 244 parliamentary constituencies. It is important to recognize that no two elections are identical, and the results of 2019, 2014, and 2009 can only offer alternative perspectives. The influence of pre-poll alliances often significantly impacts electoral outcomes, particularly in states like Tamil Nadu, Bihar, and Kerala. It is crucial to note that the table below does not indicate or reflect any existing pre-poll alliances between parties during the time of these elections.
Looking at 2019 election results, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won in 67 seats, while the Indian National Congress (INC) secured 41 seats out of the total 244 seats under consideration. The remaining 136 seats were distributed among several other parties. It is noteworthy that the DMK secured 24 seats, the YSRCP won 22 seats, the AITC claimed 22 seats, the JD(U) attained 16 seats, and the BJD achieved victory in 12 seats.
Upon close examination of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) electoral figures, it becomes apparent that the party has made substantial gains in terms of political influence and seat acquisition in these states. The BJP's notable surge in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, compared to the results of 2014, predominantly stems from the states of West Bengal, where they secured 18 out of 42 seats, and Orissa, where they obtained 8 out of 21 seats. The forthcoming months will provide further insight into whether the BJP can retain, sustain, or expand upon these numbers.
An intriguing phenomenon to observe lies in the performance of the Indian National Congress (INC) within these 15 states. In the national election of 2019, out of the total 52 seats won by the Congress, an overwhelming majority of 41 seats were exclusively secured from these states. Notably, Kerala, Punjab, and Tamil Nadu emerged as significant contributors, accounting for 15, 8, and 8 seats respectively. A closer examination of the Congress's electoral count reveals that the party's notable gain of 20 seats in the 2019 elections compared to 2014 primarily stems from the states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab. However, the question of whether the Congress can maintain these figures in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections remains uncertain as of today.
Among the 30 incumbent Chief Ministers in India, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 10, the Congress has 4, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has 2. The remaining 14 Chief Ministers belong to various other political parties. Notably, Jammu & Kashmir remains under the President's Rule. The landscape of political alliances, exemplified by the erstwhile formations of the NDA and UPA, has undergone significant transformations in recent years. Consequently, it would be imprudent to employ the same framework today.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not only established a commanding presence in nine states, governing them independently, but has also formed influential alliances in other regions. Notable examples include Haryana, Maharashtra, Nagaland, and Puducherry, where the BJP wields considerable political influence as part of coalition governments. However, it is important to acknowledge that the party's presence in Meghalaya is relatively modest, with a mere two seats out of a total of sixty.
In contrast, the Congress governs four states individually, namely Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, and Himachal Pradesh. In Bihar, Jharkhand, and Tamil Nadu, the Congress plays a pivotal role within political alliances that have come to power, such as the Mahagathbandhan (MGB) in Bihar and Jharkhand, and the Secular Progressive Alliance (SPA) in Tamil Nadu. Nevertheless, with the exception of Jharkhand where the Congress holds the second-largest party position after JMM, its political sway in Bihar and particularly in Tamil Nadu remains relatively constrained.
The Aam Aadmi Party currently enjoys a resounding mandate in Delhi and Punjab, thereby becoming the sole political entity to govern in two states, alongside the BJP and Congress.
Please note that the color coding of the states serves as a visual representation of the predominant political party that emerged as the single largest entity in the most recent Vidhan Sabha elections. It is important to mention that the data provided reflects the outcomes of Vidhan Sabha elections and does not incorporate any subsequent bye-elections.