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3-min read

With Gujarat and Himachal in Its Bag, BJP Now Controls 19 of the 29 States

Never before has any political party controlled as many states in India. Congress, 24 years ago, was the last time a political party was in control of 18 states.

News18.com

Updated:December 18, 2017, 8:35 PM IST
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With Gujarat and Himachal in Its Bag, BJP Now Controls 19 of the 29 States
BJP members celebrate the party's victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections in Bengaluru on Monday. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: With Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) back in power for the sixth straight term in Gujarat and taking Himachal away from the Congress, the party now controls 19 of the 29 states.

Never before has any political party controlled as many states in India. Congress, 24 years ago, was the last time a political party was in control of 18 states.

In December 1993, when Congress was a dominant force at the Centre, the party, controlled 15 states out of 26 by itself and one through an alliance. Two others were held by CPI (M), which then provided an outside support to the Congress government at the Centre.

Today, either the BJP or one of its partners in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is in control of 19 states. Much of this success is being credited to Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he came to power in May 2014. Since then he has led the BJP to major state election victories and expanded the party's base.

Prior to the win in the General Election, BJP was in power in the five states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Nagaland.

After BJP came to power in the Centre in 2014 with its largest mandate, the party continued its winning streak in major state elections that followed.

bjp map of india

BJP's ally, the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) retained the state of Sikkim in the election that was held simultaneously with the Lok Sabha polls. Another BJP ally, the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) formed bifurcated Andhra Pradesh's first government.

The party tasted success in the state of Maharashtra where BJP won122 seats in the 288-member assembly and formed the government in Maharashtra following a post-poll alliance with NDA ally Shiv Sena. The party then came to power in the state of Haryana.

Shortly after, BJP along with its allies secured the state of Jharkhand as well.

The party also made strong inroads in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the year 2014 where it was the second-best performer. A post-poll alliance with the People's Democratic Party (PDP) helped BJP come to power in the state for the first time.

However, in 2015, the BJP witnessed two major setbacks when they faced routing defeats in Delhi and Bihar. But in a surprise political move, the BJP renewed its ties with regional party leader Nitish Kumar, thus helping the party control the state. Nitish and his new government, which he formed with the BJP, won the crucial trust vote in the Bihar State Assembly, with 131 legislators voting in favour.

BJP, in 2016, also ended a 15-year Congress rule in Assam where it 60 seats out of 126.

In September 2016, Arunachal Pradesh's 47 Members of Legislative (MLAs) from the ruling Congress, defected to BJP. The lawmakers were able to prove majority on the floor of the house, helping BJP form a government in the state.

The party, however, failed to make a mark in the other three major state elections in West Bengal, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.

In 2017, BJP had its fair share of successes. The party bagged Uttarakhand and won a large mandate in the state of Uttar Pradesh. In Goa and Manipur, where BJP won lesser seats than the Congress, the party still managed to stitch together an alliance with regional parties and independents, to form a government in both states.

2017 was also the year when BJP lost in Punjab after two terms of rule along with ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Now that the BJP has won Gujarat and Himachal, the party will be now focusing on other states that will go for polls in 2018 including Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram.

In its ambitious bid to make India 'Congress Mukt', will the BJP be successful in making inroads into southern and eastern states is what remains to be seen. Or has the reversal already begun with Congress putting up a fight in Gujarat?

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| Edited by: Bijaya Das
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