Congress Is Not In ICU. Look At These Numbers.

Published: May 21, 2016 23:39 IST
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As I went yesterday from TV studio to TV studio, starting at ten in the morning and ending at nine at night, and again on looking at the headlines in the papers this morning, I felt like Huckleberry Finn in Mark Twain's novel sitting in on his own funeral service in church when he is perfectly alive and kicking. For none of the anchors and headline subs took any account of the fact that in the five states where votes were counted yesterday, the Congress on the whole bagged many more seats than the BJP, and in four of the five states a significantly larger share of the total votes polled as well as a much larger share of the vote in seats contested. Does this lead to a Congress-mukt Bharat?

Let us first take seats won. There were a total of 822 seats at stake. The BJP took 65, the Congress more than double:139! The BJP - the emerging "national party", (ha ha), captured just 6% of the seats; the Congress a little over 12%. The break-up is given below:

Assam

BJP              60                              
CONGRESS  26

Wah, Wah, Modi!

West Bengal

BJP                3
CONGRESS  44                             

Hai Hai, Modi!

Kerala
                                              
BJP                1
CONGRESS  22      

Hai Hai, Modi!

Tamil Nadu

BJP              0
CONGRESS  8   

Hai Hai, Modi!       
                                        
Puducherry

BJP                0
CONGRESS  15 

Hai Hai, Modi!
Jai, Jai, Congress!

Is this a Congress in ICU? Is this a Congress on its death-bed?

Let us now take vote-shares: Percentage of total votes cast

Assam

BJP              29.5
CONGRESS  31

Congress higher!

West Bengal

BJP              10.2
CONGRESS  12.3
                                     
Congress ahead, but not by much.

Kerala

BJP              10.5
CONGRESS  23.7
                               
Congress way ahead 

Tamil Nadu

BJP              2.8
CONGRESS  6.4
                               
Both low, but Congress two and a quarter times higher

Puducherry

BJP              Nil
CONGRESS  30.6

No contest. Congress far, far ahead. Forming the government.

Let us now compare vote shares in seats contested:

Assam

BJP              42.05
CONGRESS  32

BJP higher

West Bengal
                                  
BJP              10.2
CONGRESS  12.3

Congress higher - but not by much

Tamil Nadu

BJP              2.8
CONGRESS  6.4

Both low, but Congress two and a quarter times higher                                                              

Puducherry

BJP              Nil
CONGRESS  42.77

Congress wins hugely. BJP nowhere in the picture. 
                  
Let us finally compare the "hit rate" of the two parties, that is, the percentage of seats won in seats contested:

Assam

BJP              67.4
CONGRESS  21.3

Shabash, Modiji. Jeet gaye.           

West Bengal

BJP               1.03
CONGRESS  47.83

Hai, Hai, Modiji, buri tharah haar gaye!

Kerala

BJP              1
CONGRESS  25.3

Phir, buri haalath, Modiji

Tamil Nadu

BJP              Nil
CONGRESS  19.51

Arre, kahan reh gaye, Modiji?

Puducherry

BJP              No show
CONGRESS  71

Bechare, Modiji, pahunch bhi nahi paye! Congress ki mahan jeet 

Of course, the Congress is in a bad way - but it was almost that way before Bihar. It needs to pull itself up and return to its earlier eminence. But the idea that the party is finished, assiduously propagated by Amit Shah and gang, needs to be disabused. The Congress is not in ICU. It is very much in the running.

(Mani Shankar Aiyar is former Congress MP, Rajya Sabha.)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.


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