If the assembly elections in five states are a semi-final, the Bharatiya Janata Party looks in good playing form for the final in 2024. The party has taken four out of the five, retaining Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur and just short of a majority by one seat in Goa.
“The result of the 2024 general election can be glimpsed in the result of the 2022 UP election,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi told BJP workers at the party headquarters in Delhi on Thursday evening, referring to the BJP’s big win in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP plus allies are winning 274 seats in Uttar Pradesh, a little short of its 2017 tally of 322, but well past the majority mark of 202 in the 403-member assembly. The Samajwadi Party has done better than last time, set to win 124 seats.
The BJP’s precision performance had to share the headline today with the Aam Aadmi Party’s massive sweep of Punjab; Arvind Kejriwal’s party has made history as it readies to set up its second government after Delhi.
“Arvind Kejriwal for Prime Minister,” said exultant AAP leaders, staking claim to leadership if opposition parties come together for the 2024 parliamentary elections.
AAP will be the first party apart from the Akali Dal and Congress to rule Punjab. It has won 91 out of 117 seats and is leading in 1 seat, leaving in its wake a pile of former chief ministers facing humiliating defeat. Most of them are at the hands of AAP unknowns.
The BJP has made history too, establishing a pro-incumbency trend that it will no doubt carry to its campaigns for other key state elections coming up and the national elections. With its big Uttar Pradesh win, the BJP has broken the cycle of the state voting out the party in power in every assembly election since 1997.
So too in neighbouring Uttarakhand, which has returned a party to power for the first time since it came into being.
In Manipur, the BJP has a majority, winning 32 of the state’s 70 seats.
The BJP surged ahead of Congress in Goa, reversing early trends, and finally won 20 seats, one short of majority. The Congress has won 12 seats. The BJP has said it will stake claim to form the government with the support of three Independents.