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Twelve BJP States Now Govern 520 Million Indians

While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which created history by winning Assam for the first time, has consistently grown its vote share in that state from 1 percent in 1985 to 29.5 percent in 2016.

Outside Assam, the BJP won four of 607 seats it contested – of 698 assembly constituencies – across Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

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But its vote share rose in Kerala, from 4.75 percent in 2006 to 10.5 percent in 2016; in West Bengal, from 1.93 percent in 2006 to 17 percent in 2016. The rise in vote share in Tamil Nadu is insignificant, from 2 percent in 2006 to 2.8 percent in 2016.

More than 12 years after Manmohan Singh began his first term as Prime Minister, under the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), the Congress has lost six states. The 131-year-old party now directly governs about 190 million Indians, or 15 percent of the population, down from 270 million, or a quarter of the population, in 2004. With the Assam victory, the BJP now governs 12 states with 520 million Indians, or 43 percent of the population up from 216 million (21 percent) in 2004.

When we refer to BJP- and Congress-ruled states, we include those states where both parties are part of a coalition government. For the BJP, that includes Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab; for the Congress, Bihar.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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Congress Gets More Votes in Assam Than BJP

Electoral data show that in Assam the BJP had a vote share of 36.9 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but this was across all 126 assembly constituencies. The party contested no more than 89 assembly constituencies in the recently concluded assembly elections.

The Congress had a larger vote share, 31 percent, in the 122 assembly constituencies it contested in Assam. Since the BJP got 29.5 percent of the vote in 89 assembly constituencies, it emerged as the largest party by winning 60 of those seats, three short of a simple majority, unseating the Congress government, which held sway for 15 years.

The BJP’s vote share has fluctuated in Assam, declining between the last two assembly elections as well, from 12 percent in 2006 to 11.5 percent in 2011, before rising to 36.9 percent on the back of the Narendra Modi wave in 2014.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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From 1.93 Percent to 10.2 Percent in 10 Years

Despite a recent apparent fall in vote share, from 17.02 percent in 2014 to 10.2 percent in 2016, the BJP claimed its second assembly constituency ever in West Bengal, winning three seats. It had won its first-ever assembly seat in a 2014 West Bengal bye election.

The BJP contested 41 seats in the 2014 general elections (out of 42), won 17 percent votes of the Bengal electorate, and won two Lok Sabha seats. Its electoral performance deteriorated in 2016, with vote share dropping from 17 percent to 10.2 %, contesting 291 seats. However, the BJP’s vote share in West Bengal grew from 1.93% in 2006 to 17% in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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BJP’s Vote Share Rises in Kerala

The BJP won one seat in the 140-member Kerala assembly, its first ever in that state, with a 10.5 percent share of votes in the 98 assembly constituencies it contested, rising from 4.75 percent in 136 constituencies it contested in 2006.

The BJP got 10.5 percent of the vote in Kerala during the 2014 general elections, its largest ever. In 2016, the BJP achieved the same vote share, although the party contested no more than 98 seats; the 2014 vote share came across 140 assembly segments.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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Tamil Nadu Voters Unimpressed by the BJP

Tamil Nadu voters remained indifferent to the BJP, with no more than 2.8 percent voting for the party, compared to 2.02 percent in 2006.

The BJP’s vote share in Tamil Nadu fell to 2.8 percent from the 5.56 percent it garnered in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

By contesting just nine seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections (across 54 assembly constituencies), the party won 5.56 percent of votes. Contesting 188 assembly constituencies in 2016, the BJP got no more than 2.8 percent of votes.

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Congress Has Less Than 15 Percent of Indians Now

From controlling 13 states in 2004, the Congress is now down to one large state, Karnataka, another large state as smallest coalition partner, Bihar, and six smaller states – three from the North East: Manipur, Mizoram and Meghalaya; two from the north, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand; and the Union territory of Puducherry.

The Congress now directly rules about 190 million Indians, down from 270 million in 2004.

The BJP has taken over as the leading national party. From governing six states in 2004 – when Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s NDA government lost power – the party governs, including Assam,12 states today. Its state governments govern 520 million Indians, up from 216 million in 2004.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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Congress Wins Most Votes, Loss in Assam; Gain in WB

The Congress has consistently attracted more than 30 percent of the vote in Assam since 2006. The recent elections were no exception.

The Congress’s vote share in Assam slipped from 39.4 percent in 2011 to 29.9 percent in the 2014 general election. It has now inched up to 31 percent in 2016.

The Congress lost a fourth of its support base to the BJP over five years but maintains a third of the Assamese vote.

In West Bengal, the Congress showed a marginal improvement, winning 44 seats in the 294-member assembly, against 42 seats in the last term, with an improved vote share of 12.3 percent against 9.09 percent in 2011.

Compared to the BJP, which contested 291 seats, garnered 10 percent votes and won three seats, the Congress contested a third of the seats (92) and garnered 12.3 percent of the vote, winning 44 seats.

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While BJP is gaining, Congress is left with only 15 percent of India.
(Photo: IndiaSpend)
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Vote Share at 34-Year Low in Kerala

In Kerala, the Congress got 23.7 percent of the vote, the lowest in 34 years.

Despite garnering 31.47 percent of votes and winning eight of the 15 parliamentary seats it contested during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress now has no more than 22 members (down from 38) in the 140-strong assembly.

In Tamil Nadu, the vote share of the Congress increased marginally, from 4.37 percent in 2014 to 6.4 percent in 2016. It peaked at 15 percent during the 2009 general elections, when the Congress won 206 seats across the country.

Although the party could not repeat its performance of 2006, when it won 34 of the 48 constituencies it contested, the Congress vote share rose from 4.37 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha (when it contested every seat) to 6.4 percent in 2016 (when it contested a sixth of seats – 41) in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagham (DMK).

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Topics:  BJP   Congress   Assembly Election 2016 

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