Will Modi be able to match Nehru's record in 2024? These four states hold the key to victory

Ananya Shroff
10 Min Read

New Delhi: Six phases of voting for the Lok Sabha elections-2024 have been completed. The seventh and last phase of voting will be held on May 1. All the BJP leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi are claiming to win more than 400 seats this time. At the same time, the opposition alliance Bharat is also claiming its victory. It is necessary to win 272 seats to gain power in the country. BJP came to power with a huge majority in 2014 and then in 2019. The path to achieving majority in democratic elections in India passes through some states. This includes states like UP, Bihar. Apart from India, the mathematics of majority is different in America and other countries. After all, what is the mathematics of majority to form a government in the country? Will Modi be able to match the record of the country's first PM Nehru? Let's understand.Understand the electoral mathematics of America
For example, we can take America, which is the oldest democracy in the world. Donald Trump was able to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US presidential election by getting 77,744 extra votes in the three major swing states of America, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Even after this, overall more Americans voted for Clinton than Trump. According to the Cook Political Report, the 2024 presidential election in the US will depend on six states. These states are Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Whether the next president will be Joe Biden or Donald Trump, it all depends on who gets the majority in these six 'swing states'.

The path to majority in India goes through 4 states
A similar situation is developing in India, where 'winning a majority' depends on a few states. Especially since the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In 2019, the BJP won 303 out of 543 Lok Sabha seats. A look at the political map gives us a basic idea of ​​the victory of the BJP-led NDA alliance in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Will the NDA repeat its performance in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, perform better or lose the majority? The answer largely depends on how it performs in just four of the 28 states and eight union territories.

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Understand the whole matter from these election formulas
To understand this electoral mathematics in simple language, we use the 100-200-243 formula of election analyst Yashwant Deshmukh. For this, we divide the states into three categories. The first category includes those states where BJP is not in the main electoral battle, the second category includes those states where BJP is completely dominant and the third category includes those states where BJP is in a tough competition with regional parties.

BJP is struggling in southern states
The BJP is still struggling to make inroads in the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Telangana. In the last two Lok Sabha elections, the party managed to win only four out of 101 seats here. However, this time the BJP is expected to increase its number of seats. Mainly in Telangana, but it is unlikely to have much impact on the electoral picture of the entire country.

War in the Southern States

State Team 2014 2019
Tamil Nadu (39 seats)
DMK 0 23
Congress 0 8
BJP 1 0
Other 1 7
Andhra Pradesh (25 seats)
YSRCP 8 22
TDP 15 3
BJP 2 0
Congress 0 0
Other 0 0
Kerala (20 seats)
Congress 8 15
IUML 2 2
CPI(M) 5 1
Other 5 2
Telangana (17 seats)
Congress 2 3
BRS 11 9
BJP 1 4
Other 2 0

BJP vs Congress
The Modi-led BJP is ahead in a direct electoral battle with the Congress. In head-to-head contests with the Congress in states, the BJP won 133 of the 138 Lok Sabha seats in 2019 and 121 of the 138 in 2014. Even in states where the BJP and Congress contested together along with their alliance partners, the BJP has achieved spectacular success against the country's oldest party.

State Seats
2014 2019
BJP Congress
Chattisgarh 11 10 1
Gujarat 26 26 0
Haryana 10 7 1
Himachal Pradesh 4 4 0
Karnataka 28 17 9
Madhya Pradesh 29 27 2
Rajasthan 25 25 0
Uttarakhand 5 5 0
Total 138 121 13

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress was the main rival of BJP in 190 seats. However, Congress managed to win only 15 seats while the remaining 175 seats went to BJP. Out of these 175 seats, BJP won 144 seats with a margin of more than 10%. BJP may lose some seats in Karnataka and some other states, but the party is unlikely to suffer any major loss in a direct contest with Congress.

BJP vs regional parties
It is ironic that it is regional parties and not the Congress that will decide whether PM Modi will equal Jawaharlal Nehru's record of winning three consecutive Lok Sabha elections. A total of 244 seats in six major states, where the BJP is in direct contest with regional parties, will largely determine the outcome of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

These states hold the key to BJP's majority

State Team 2014 2019
Maharashtra (48 seats)
BJP 23 23
Shiv Sena 18 18
NCP 4 4
Congress 2 1
Other 1 2
West Bengal (42 seats)
TMC 34 22
CPI 2 0
BJP 2 18
Congress 4 2
Bihar (40 seats)
BJP 22 17
RJD 4 0
I go 2 16
Congress 2 1
Other 10 6
Punjab (13 seats)
Congress 3 8
Downhearted 4 2
BJP 2 2
You 4 1
Odisha (21 seats)
BJD 20 12
BJP 1 8
Congress 0 1
Uttar Pradesh (80 seats)
BJP 71 62
SP 5 5
Congress 2 1
BSP 0 10
Other 2 2

Of these six states, the BJP is in a very strong position in Uttar Pradesh, as opinion polls and ground reports show. This time the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are contesting separately like in 2014. That year when there was no alliance between the SP and BSP, the BJP had won 71 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats. In 2024, the BJP is expected to at least repeat its 2019 tally of 62 seats, even if it does not increase its seats.

On the other hand, BJP is not a big party in Punjab. So, we are left with four states- Maharashtra (48 seats), West Bengal (42), Bihar (40) and Odisha (21). In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BJP won 66 out of a total of 151 seats. But this time there are two Shiv Senas and two NCPs in Maharashtra. No one can say for sure whether this confusion in Maharashtra will benefit or harm BJP in the Lok Sabha elections.

After completing his second term with RJD in Bihar, Nitish Kumar has returned to the NDA fold. But what will be its impact on the voters? On the other hand, in West Bengal, after the 2021 assembly elections, BJP is facing a tough competition from Trinamool Congress (TMC). There was talk of an alliance between BJP and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in Odisha, but now both are in a direct fight against each other.

The mandate and result of majority in the Lok Sabha elections will be decided by the results of four states Maharashtra, West Bengal, Bihar and Odisha. Will PM Modi be able to equal Nehru's record? These four states can decide this historic event. We will get the answer to this on June 4.

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