BJP’s Shrinking Footprint: Saffron Area on India’s Political Map Reduced to Half in Less Than 2 Years
The footprint of the BJP on the political map of India shrank further on Monday.
New Delhi: With another state slipping out of its hands, the footprint of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the political map of India shrank further on Monday as it lost power in the tribal state of Jharkhand where the opposition alliance led by the Jharkhand Mukti Mocha looks all set to form the next government with a comfortable majority.
In March 2018, the BJP was in power in 13 states across the country on its own while it ruled six other states in alliance with other parties. After its loss on Monday, the BJP now rules eight states on its own while it is part of the ruling coalition in an equal number of other states.
However, the bigger loss has been in terms of area as the BJP, either on its own or in alliance with other parties, ruled nearly 70 per cent of the total geographical area of the country in March 2018. This now has come down to 34 per cent.
The downward spiral for the BJP began last year with losses in politically crucial states of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. While it lost by a small margin in Rajasthan and MP, the party suffered a humiliating defeat in Chhattisgarh. The BJP had ruled both MP and Chhattisgarh for three consecutive terms before it lost power to Congress in December 2018.
In October this year, the BJP lost power in Maharashtra after its pre-poll ally Shiv Sena broke the alliance to form the government led by Uddhav Thackerey with support from the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress.
Even in Haryana, which went to polls at the same time, BJP had fallen short of the majority mark and had to reach out to Dushyant Chautala's JJP to form the government in the state.
It should be noted that while the BJP was part of the ruling coalition in Jammu and Kashmir in March 2018, the state was put under Presidents’ rule after the BJP withdrew support to the PDP.
In August this year, the BJP-led central government revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and divided the state into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Of these, only J&K is a UT with a legislature where elections are yet to happen.