Congress suffers reverses while BJP gains in 5 states
Lucknow: The shout of “Priyanka lao, party bachao” is likely to get louder in the light of result of elections in five states announced on Thursday mainly because it showed the party in a poor light. Not only has it lost power in Assam but has also suffered reverses in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal where the party had allied with other parties. Though it has retained power in the union territory of Puduchery but it can be only termed as a “consolation prize”.
The only party which can say “balle balle” is the BJP which has made inroads into the North-eastern state of Assam where it had not done well in the past. The party had put this region in the priority list on the eve of last parliamentary election and has been nursing it ever since. It has paid dividend. This win may help the party improve its position in other states of the region. It has already enlarged its footprint in Arunachal Pradesh.
Another highlight is that two women, Mamata Banerjee and J Jayalalitha, who ruled West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, respectively, have retained power. Mamata has, in fact, improved position and grabbed some more seats. Jayalalitha on the other hand, has created a history by winning elections for the second time in a row, a feat not achieved by anyone else since 1989. Strange it may appear but the party had allied with the left in West Bengal and opposed each other in Kerala. The left has returned to power in the state.
The defeat in Asam is a notable loss for the Congress especially because the party was ruling the state for the past 15 years. All these years Tarun Gogai was heading the state. Political pundits believe that his performance in the past few years has not been satisfactory and it was the main reason for the party’s drubbing.
It is not that the party high command was not aware of the situation in that state but it did not do much to reverse it. The BJP could exploit the situation well. The party took one more action. Unlike Bihar it had announced the chief ministerial candidate in Assam before the election believing that lack of it was one of the reasons for defeat in that state.
For the BJP the result may be a shot in the arm. With win in Assam the number of states under the party will go up to nine as against six of the Congress. It can now hope to do better in the coming elections in U P. In any case it will fire all cylinders to unseat Samajwadi Party which is not an easy task. It result can also boost the morale of party workers. It will have impact on the Congress strategist Prashant Kishore too.
He will have a greater bargaining power and press the high command more forcefully to meet his demands. The party’s loss in elections in five states may act as a gain for him.