45 Takeaways from 2019 Elections

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The 2019 Elections are over and the results are in. What are the 30 biggest takeaways from the largest and longest Lok Sabha polls India has ever had?

  1. A ruling party has been returned to power for the first time in 48 years – last time it was the Indira Gandhi-led Congress in 1971. However, do note that the Congress’ vote share in 1971 rose by only 7.11% compared to 1967 (40.78% to 43.68%); whereas the vote share of BJP has grown by almost 23% from the 31.34% it got in 2014. Therefore, the BJP’s performance in 2019 is considerably better than the Indira Congress in 1971.
  2. Having performed very well in 2014, BJP should have lost vote share this time. Similarly, having performed very badly in 2014, Congress should have substantially increased its vote share. In reality, while the BJP vote share grew by almost 23%, Congress’ share grew just about 1%.
  3. Having won just 44 seats in 2014, Congress should have at least doubled its tally to 88 seats in 2019, if not crossing the 3-figure mark.  It managed just 52 seats, which is just 4 more than its current 48 MP’s in Lok Sabha. (The Congress tally had gone up from 44 to 48 due to bye-elections in the last five years).
  4. If you look at the seat share in the last six (6) Lok Sabha elections including 1998, BJP has got average 201 seats, which is a whopping 71.8% higher than Congress’ 117 seats over a pretty long period of 21 years. Congress leaders and spokespersons need to wake up and smell the coffee, as they have been constantly blabbering to the media that “Congress is the PARTY OF CHOICE in India“.
  5. NDA with 45.7% got almost 50% higher vote share than UPA with 31.3% and almost double of “Others” with 23.1%. This is also the highest vote share for a ruling party/coalition since Rajiv Gandhi won the sympathy vote in 1984 following his mother’s assassination.
  6. On its own, BJP alone (with about 37.43%) got almost double the vote share of Congress’ 19.51%.
  7. A single party crossed 300 seats (BJP got 303) on its own for the first time since 1984, when Rajiv Gandhi won 414 seats due to the sympathy vote.
  8. PM Narendra Modi has become the first non-Congress Prime Minister of India to win two full terms with absolute majority.
  9. Congress party president and eternal PM-hopeful Rahul Gandhi lost his family bastion – Amethi – to Smriti Irani of BJP by 55,120 votes. THIS IS THE SECOND BIGGEST HEADLINE OF THESE ELECTIONS. Many BJP leaders – including Modi – had predicted that this would happen, and that the dynast contested from a second constituency – Wayanad in Kerala – due to this very reason.
  10. NDA won more than 50% vote share in 17 states and UT’s. This includes 69.0% in Himachal Pradesh, 62.2% in Gujarat, 60.8% in Uttarakhand, 58.5% in Rajasthan, 58.5% in Haryana, 58% in Madhya Pradesh, 53.2% in Bihar, 51.2% in Goa, 50.9% in Maharashtra, 50.7% in Jharkhand, 50.8% in Uttar Pradesh and 50.7% in Chattisgarh.
  11. The vote share of both BSP and SP went down in Uttar Pradesh. While BSP’s went down very slightly from 19.6% to 19.26%, SP’s vote share went down drastically, from 22.2% to 17.96%.
  12. NDA won ALL SEATS in 10 states and UT’s. BJP won ALL SEATS in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
  13. BJP won 18 seats in West Bengal. It has never won more than 2 seats in the state earlier. BJP’s vote share grew 140% – from 16.8% in 2014 to 40.25% this time.
  14. Except Tamil Nadu, where it rode along its alliance partner DMK, the Congress party won only 7 seats in India’s 10 largest states.
  15. Congress failed to win even a single seat in as many as 20 states and UT’s.
  16. Congress managed to reach double digits only in one state – Kerala.
  17. Out of 52 states across the country, Congress won 31 seats from 3 states (Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Punjab) and 2 seats from 2 UT’s. In the balance 26 states and 5 UT’s, Congress won 19 seats, at an average of just 0.61 seats per state/UT.
  18. Of the 52 seats won by the Congress, 8 seats each were won in Tamil Nadu (due to the anti-AIADMK pro-DMK wave) and Punjab (due to Capt. Amarinder Singh). Therefore, the Gandhis/Vadras won just 36 seats on their own.
  19. The NDA won 16 out of 52 Muslim-dominated seats in Lok Sabha. The alliance also won 16 out of 25 seats in the Christian-dominated Northeast region. Therefore, BJP cannot be labeled as a “Hindu party” any more, despite what the anti-Modi “THE HINDU” may write.
  20. Pariwaarvad was rejected by WE THE PEOPLE. More than two-thirds (28 out of 41) of dynasts contesting these elections were ousted. These included 13 from the Congress party (Rahul Gandhi though he won in Wayanad, Jyotiraditya Scindia, Milind Deora, Sushmita Dev, Gaurav Gogoi, Jitin Prasada, Deepender Hooda, Priya Dutt, Deepa Dasmunshi, Sunil Jakhar, Kumari Selja, Vaibhav Gehlot, and Bhavya Bishnoi); 4 from Mulayam Singh Yadav’s family (Akshay Yadav, Dharmendra Yadav, Dimple Yadav and Shivpal Yadav); 3 from the family of former Deputy PM Devi Lal (Arjun Chautala, Digvijay Chautala, and Dushyant Chautala); Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh and his daughter Daggubati Purandeswari; Ajit Pawar’s son Parth Pawar; Ajit Singh’s son Jayant Chaudhary; Mufti Mohammed Sayeed’s daughter Mehbooba Mufti; Lalu Prasad Yadav’s daughter Misa Bharti; HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy; and KCR’s daughter K. Kavitha. These results showed an approval to PM Modi’s fight against dynastic rule, though several NDA parties also have dynasts.
  21. BJP won 29 out of 131 seats (including two UT’s) in South India and was therefore not a complete washout, as some had predicted. The party won 25 seats in Karnataka (including an independent it supported) and 4 seats in Telangana. As usual, Kerala and Tamil Nadu voted against national trends. Tamil Nadu voted as it has been doing for decades – a clean sweep for whichever party/alliance is not in power at the time of the elections.
  22. Left parties won just 6 seats compared to 11 in 2014. The CPIM is down to just 3 seats. Is this the beginning of the end of Communism in India?
  23. Lalu Prasad Yadav’s RJD won zero seats in Bihar.
  24. Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP won just 1 seat, compared to 4 in 2014.
  25. Film Star Dharmendra has more MP’s (Hema Malini and Sunny Deol) in his household than parties like AAP and JDS, that make a lot of noise on TV everyday.
  26. WE THE PEOPLE voted for someone who was able to control prices and was not perceived to be corrupt.
  27. WE THE PEOPLE clearly demonstrated that we want a strong leader and there is no one stronger than Narendra Modi today. We did not believe that Balakot was a flop show, or that Congress had done 6 surgical strikes.
  28. WE THE PEOPLE also said that we want a stable government with a clear majority, and that no one other than BJP/NDA can currently give us such a government.
  29. Further, WE THE PEOPLE defeated casteism, pseudo-secularism and vote-bank politics. I do hope that these evils do not come back into Indian politics.
  30. We also rejected the idea that Gathbandhans would easily defeat the mammoth BJP machine, as was proven in UP, Bihar, Maharashtra and Karnataka.
  31. Either voters did not believe in the bogey of “Demon Demonetisation” or accepted that it was a temporary inconvenience.
  32. Voters did not believe that GST was a “Gabbar Singh Tax“.
  33. There was huge approval for the PM’s populist schemes such as Jan Dhan Yojana, Ujjwala, Swachh Bharat Mission, Ayushman Bharat, Mudra Yojana, PM Awas Yojana, etc., though most of these schemes were criticised (and often mocked) by the opposition, especially Congress. The election results prove that most of these schemes have delivered.
  34. The December 2018 assembly election victories in Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan went to Congress’ head and made them assume that they were going to come back to power in New Delhi. Congress managed to win just 3 seats out of 65 in these 3 states in the Lok Sabha elections.
  35. Rahul Gandhi’s Rafale did not fly. His “Chowkidaar Chor Hai” jibe actually seems to have helped Narendra Modi.
  36. People did not believe in false promises made by the Congress party. They also rejected the Congress Manifesto.
  37. Priyanka Gandhi’s campaign was a big flop show. Congress lost in 95% of the constituencies where she had campaigned.
  38. Several Congress stalwarts were ousted. These included current Lok Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge and former Chief Ministers Sushilkumar Shinde (Maharashtra), Ashok Chavan (Maharashtra), Digvijay Singh (MP), Veerappa Moily (Karnataka), Bhupinder Hooda (Haryana), and Sheila Dixit (Delhi).
  39. The “Tukde Tukde Gang” was ousted, as was clear from the defeat of candidates such as Kanhaiya Kumar, Atishi Marlena, Prakash Ambedkar and Kamal Haasan.
  40. Most BJP/NDA deserters were ousted – these included TDP (Chandrababu Naidu), PDP (Mehbooba Mufti), Shatrughan Sinha, Upendra Kushwaha, Sharad Yadav and Savitri Bai Phule.
  41. Arrogant spokespersons who just speak and shout on TV clearly do not help a party’s cause. For the Congress, these included the likes of Sanjay Jha, Pawan Khera, Akhilesh Pratap Singh, Meem Afzal, Ragini Nayak, Shaktisinh Gohil, and Sushmita Dev in 2014. During the last five years, it was proxy spokespersons such as Tehseen Poonawala, Royden Roach, Nishant Verma, Rajiv Desai, and Alimuddin Khan, who hurt the party more than help it.
  42. The “Federal Front” dreams of 2 Telugu-speaking politicians were shattered. While KCR’s TRS party managed to win just 9 seats (out of 17) in Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu’s TDP performed far worse with a paltry 3 seats (out of 25) in Andhra Pradesh.
  43. The most unexpected defeat was that of Baijayant “Jay” Panda of BJP from Odisha. Considered Naveen Patnaik’s right hand man for several years, he had recently defected to BJP. In my mind, Jay Panda reflected clean politics like no other MP in India. He had been Rajya Sabha MP from 2000 to 2009 and Lok Sabha MP from 2009 to 2019. His defeat is a sad development for Indian politics.
  44. The worse thing that could happen to our democracy is that we do not have a strong opposition.
  45. Despite other channels and pollsters’ claims, Today’s Chanakya in partnership with New 24 TV was most accurate in their exit polls, just as they had been in 2014. They had predicted 350 seats for NDA (actual 353), 95 seats for UPA (95) and 97 seats for “Others” (94). The India TodayAxis My India poll had predicted 353-100-89, and was the second closest.

One opposition leader said that BJP did excellent marketing of a horrible leader (Modi) while Congress failed to market an excellent leader (Rahul). My response to him – Ye jo public hai sab jaanati hai.

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