BJP’s vote share shrinks, Congress boasts a triple-digit score
NEW DELHI: (Web Desk) The Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) vote share in the 2024 general election contracted in most of the states and union territories (UTs), shows an analysis of Election Commission of India (ECI) data.

 These states and the UTs had relatively low rates of growth in per capita income since the previous Lok Sabha polls in 2019. Of the 12 states and UTs where per capita NSDP grew by a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of up to 2 per cent, and where the BJP contested in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha elections, the party’s vote share shrunk in nine.

These nine states and UTs include Bihar, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Haryana, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, and Chandigarh. Kerala, Sikkim, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands were the outliers to the trend.

In the 286 seats where the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are in a direct contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP is leading/has won in 180 (strike rate: 62.9%), while the Congress is leading/has won in 83 (strike rate: 29%).

The BJP’s strike rate against the Congress has decreased from 68.7% in 2019 to 62.9% in 2024. While the Congress’ strike rate in direct constests with the BJP continues to remain low, it increased to 29% from 8.3% in 2019. Strike rate is the percentage share of seats won by a party among those it contested (in this case, among the direct contests) The story is based on trends and results based on votes counted till 3 pm.

Meanwhile, the Congress could win 100 Lok Sabha seats in this election - after winning just 44 in 2014 and 52 in 2019. The last time the party boasted a triple-digit score was in 2009 when it won 206 seats and propelled former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the United Progressive Alliance to a second term.

At 11 pm the Congress had won 85 seats - including the Amethi bastion in Uttar Pradesh it lost to the BJP's Smriti Irani in the 2019 election - across the country and was leading in 14 others.

And the party-led INDIA bloc - set up in June 2023 to beat Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP-led National Democratic Alliance - was ahead in 232, which is short of its claim of 295.

The NDA was leading in 292 seats; the ruling party had quickly surged past the halfway mark of 272 in early leads as counting began (starting with postal ballots) but slowed down as the hours went by.

At 11 pm the BJP, on its own, had won 221 - well short of its target of 370 - and was leading in 19. The party had set its NDA partners a target of 30 more seats which, interestingly, they have delivered.

Prime Minister Modi, therefore, is set for a historic third term, but the BJP's hope of crossing the 400-seat mark - something only the Congress has done - has hit an INDIA wall.

In 2014 the Congress - then led by Rahul Gandhi - faced the much-vaunted 'Modi wave' and slumped to a massive defeat, losing 162 seats and dropping nearly 9.3 per cent of the vote share.

The 2014 election saw the emergence of the Hindi heartland - the belt of Hindi-speaking states from Gujarat and Rajasthan in the west to Bihar and Jharkhand in the east, and down to Madhya Pradesh.

The BJP swept these states 10 years ago en route to winning 336 of the nation's 543 seats.

The NDA won 73 seats in UP, 41 in Maharashtra, 31 in Bihar, and 27 in Madhya Pradesh. It also swept Gujarat's 26, Rajasthan's 25, Delhi's seven, Himachal Pradesh's four, and Uttarakhand's five seats, and won 12 of Jharkhand's 14, 10 of Chhattisgarh's 11, and seven of Haryana's 10 seats.

The Congress won just two seats in UP - the party strongholds of Amethi and Raebareli. The party picked up only six seats across the rest of the belt, with its UPA partners contributing a further six.