Election Results 2023: The election brings into focus the BJP's strength in the north.
The victory in three heartland states has come as a boon for the BJP ahead of the 2024 general elections, in which it is hoping for a third straight term. The party not only controls 12 states now, it also rules over 41 per cent of the country's population -- and over 50 per cent in alliance governments -- from whom it expects support in 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi summed it up in his victory speech to party workers this evening.
"Some people are saying this hat trick has guaranteed the 2024 victory. Today's mandate proves people have zero-tolerance towards corruption, appeasement and dynastic politics," PM Modi said.
The latest election has expanded the BJP's footprint over two more states -- Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh which it wrested from the Congress.
At present, BJP has its own government in 12 states of the country - Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Assam, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Tripura, Manipur, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh.
Its alliance governments are spread over Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Sikkim.
In contrast, the Congress will rule over just three states -- Karnataka, Telangana and Himachal Pradesh -- that comprises only 8.51 per cent of the country's population. Counting in its ruling alliances in Bihar and Jharkhand, it has power over 19.84 per cent of Indians.
The election brings into focus the BJP's strength in the north, where it has its core voters.
Despite being written off by many in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, the party has swept the two states, exhibiting again the strength of its formidable election machinery and nimble course correction by its strategists.
For the Congress, the biggest national party in the INDIA alliance, the loss of Rajasthan and the upset in Chhattisgarh is expected to cut down its bargaining power within the bloc. It has also exposed the party's weakening hold on the northern states, already bringing derisive comments from alliance partners.
Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress accused the Grand Old Party of having an entitled attitude and advised it to introspect. "This is not a success of BJP, this is total failure of Congress," said Trinamool spokesperson Kunal Ghosh. "The Congress must come out from its 'zamindari mentality' and must share and implement the experience of other senior leaders like Mamata Banerjee," he added.
"It has been made clear that the Congress cannot compete with BJP... The Congress will have to come out of this syndrome," said senior Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi.