NEW DELHI: Riding on the 'Narendra Modi' wave and due to the excessive groundwork done by BJP president Amit Shah, the saffron party on Tuesday made a comeback in Karnataka defeating Congress and expanded its footprint in as many as 21 states across the country.
A victory in Karnataka assumes great significance for the BJP ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. However, the BJP victory has shattered tall claims made Congress leadership, especially its president Rahul Gandhi, which expressed supreme confidence that the party will retain power in this southern state. With its loss in Karnataka, Congress has now been reduced to Punjab, Mizoram and Puducherry (UT).
The emphatic victory for BJP has also taken its 'Congress-free India' campaign forward, with the party now eyeing to win more states in the assembly elections scheduled to be held later this year.
The BJP party has a few months back swept to power in three northeastern states – Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland – and with a victory in Karnataka, it has now expanded its presence in as many as 21 states.
The BJP- IPFT alliance had decimated the Left Front and won 43 out of 59 seats in Tripura. The Communist Party of India (Marxist), which could win just 16 seats in the 60-member Assembly, was ousted from power in the state after 25 years.
In Nagaland, the National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP)-BJP gave a tough fight to the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) and eventually managed to form a government by securing a majority in the 60-member state assembly.
The party, after a dramatic turn of events, managed to win power in Meghalaya.
In December 2017, the BJP retained Gujarat and wrested Himachal Pradesh from Congress. The results of the Karnataka Assembly elections 2018 will take the total number of states where BJP has formed governments on its own or with allies after Prime Minister Narendra Modi assumed office in 2014 to 16 and 21 overall.
Here are the states where BJP-led NDA is in power:
1. Andhra Pradesh
2. Arunachal Pradesh
9. Himachal Pradesh
10. Jammu & Kashmir
12. Madhya Pradesh
19. Uttar Pradesh
The Congress is in power in two major states and 1 UT
The string of victories of the BJP will also determine the strength with which the party heads to Lok Sabha elections in 2019.
BJP’s campaign trajectory is broadly defined by the groundwork of Amit Shah and capped by PM Modi’s rallies. By sticking to this form of build-up, culminating in a crescendo of sorts, the BJP thus far has reaped rich electoral dividends in a vast majority of the states. However, there have been two distinct exceptions to this rule - Delhi and Bihar in their respective assembly elections in 2015.
In the run-up to the May 12 polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extensively campaigned across the state. In a blistering attack on the Siddharamaiah government, Modi called it a “Seeda Rupaiya Sarkar” (money first) that should not be allowed to continue “even for a minute.”
Besides PM Modi, several top BJP leaders and CMs also campaigned for the party in full swing in Karnataka.
(With Agency inputs)