Five state verdict: AAP sweeps Punjab, BJP wins UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur
Congress paid the price for infighting with the party when the voters handed over power to Aam Aadmi Party in Punjab. The BJP secured comfortable victories in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur. In Goa too, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 20 seats in the 40-member assembly and is hoping to form the government at the earliest.
Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party caused a major upset when it thrashed the Congress in the Punjab assembly election and registered a thumping victory in the state. At the same time, the BJP showed it might once again when it overcame the odds and stormed to power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur. In Goa, the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 20 seats in the 40-member assembly and is hoping to form the government at the earliest.
The election in Uttar Pradesh was being seen as a litmus test for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. A majority of exit polls had predicted that the party will return to power but may not as triumphant a manner in which they won in 2017. In the last assembly election, the party had swept the election, winning 325 out of the 403 seats in the assembly. The BJP tally at the end of the day stood at 273.
The Opposition, Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party, had rejected the exit poll results and claimed that they would comfortably win the elections. The tally at the end of the day stood for SP at over 125 seats while the BSP was at 1. In 2017, the Samajwadi Party had won 47 seats while the BSP could manage 19.
As for pre-poll alliances, the BJP tied up with Apna Dal (Sonelal) and Nishad party while Akhilesh Yadav joined hands with the Rashtriya Lok Dal and some regional parties like Om Prakash Rajbhar's Suheldev Bhartiya Samaj Party).
The Congress high command was eagerly awaiting the results of the Punjab assembly election. That's because most pollsters predicted that Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party could replace the government of Charanjit Singh Channi. But the latest trends show the party being blown away from the contest with just 18 seats out of 117 seats. AAP, on the other hand, led in over 92 seats or comfortably past the halfway mark.
The Congress had tried to salvage its image in the state following massive infighting, by playing the Dalit card and making Channi chief minister. Clearly, that plan has failed spectacularly with both Channi and Navjot Singh Sidhu losing their seats. The Akali Dal too faced a rout of sorts with both Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal losing the electoral contest.
Political calculations and deliberations were already underway in Goa even before the counting of the first vote. And they continued as the results unfolded. the BJP emerged as the single largest party with 20 seats in the 40-member assembly. According to reports, the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party has offered to extend support to the BJP.
However, there seems to be some behind-the-scenes activity as far as the BJP's chief ministerial face is concerned. There seem to be some different voices over the candidature of Pramod Sawant who had been declared as the chief ministerial face of the party before the elections.
The last word on the Goa political script is yet to be written.
This is one state that most pollsters were wrong about. While many many were expecting to see a hung assembly in Uttarakhand, the counting trends say otherwise. In 2022, the Congress party was expected to give the BJP a tough fight and force it to look for independents' support to stay in power. However, at last count, the party had just 18 seats, which is slightly better than its performance in the previous election.
To note, in the 2017 assembly polls, the BJP had bagged 57 seats out of the 70 while the Congress had to settle for 11 seats.
The BJP, which contested the Manipur assembly elections on its own, emerged as the clear winner followed by the Congress party. The Congress party had stitched an alliance of six parties under the banner of Manipur Progressive Secular Alliance or MPSA.
A number of exit polls had predicted a BJP win in Manipur. The confidence among the BJP cadre is so high that they had been erecting new party flags on the boundary walls even before the counting of votes began.
To note, in the 2017 Manipur elections, Congress had emerged as the single largest party winning 28 seats followed by the BJP which settled with 21 seats. The Naga People's Front (NPF) and National People's Party (NPP) bagged four seats each while the Lok Janshakti Party managed to secure only one constituency.