Elections Results 2022: The stakes are the highest in Uttar Pradesh, which with 80 parliamentary seats, holds the key to power at the Centre.
New Delhi: The BJP is heading for a big win in Uttar Pradesh and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has scooped Punjab in mega elections seen as the semi-final before the 2024 national election. The BJP is also ahead of the Congress in Goa and Uttarakhand.
- The BJP is hoping to retain power in four states – Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. In Punjab, the ruling Congress faces a big test.
- The stakes are highest in Uttar Pradesh; with 80 parliamentary seats, India’s most politically important state holds the key to power at the Centre. If the BJP wins a majority in the 403-member assembly, it will be the first party to get a consecutive second term in more than three decades.
- The Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party, the BJP’s main challenger in Uttar Pradesh, has stitched up a rainbow coalition with smaller parties, which it hopes will supplement its Muslim-Yadav support base with OBC (Other Backward Classes) voters, who will be crucial in the eastern and western part of the state.
- In Punjab, exit polls have predicted a big victory for Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP — which has been making inroads in the state – with the Congress dislodged to the number 2 position in the 117-member assembly.
- The Congress in Punjab has been a divided house for more than a year in the run-up to the polls. Its internal rivalries, including the battle between former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu, had dominated headlines.
- Amarinder Singh’s new party, the Punjab Lok Congress, has joined hands with the BJP. The Akali Dal, which split from its long-time partner BJP after the countrywide protests over farm laws, is the other player in the multi-cornered contest.
- A tough contest is expected in Goa, where the BJP managed to form government five years ago despite getting fewer seats than the Congress. Both parties are racing to line up possible allies. The BJP is projecting confidence that it will have the support of estranged former ally Maharashtrawadi Gomatak Party (MGP), which is currently in an alliance with the Trinamool Congress.
- Manipur was the second state where the Congress found itself out of power in 2017 despite being the single largest party, winning 28 of the 60 seats. The BJP, despite winning 21 seats, formed government with the help of the National People’s Party and Naga People’s Front. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s National People’s Party is also in fray this time, contesting 38 seats.
- The Congress response this time has been early preparations – rushing its top leaders to both Goa and Manipur and closely guarding its flock of candidates. Senior leaders have also been dispatched to Uttarakhand, where a tight race is expected.
- Many exit polls have predicted a hung assembly in Uttarakhand. This raises the possibility of a big role for Independents and marginal players like AAP, SP, BSP and the UKD in government formation. The BJP and Congress are locked in straight contests on 40 to 45 of the 60 seats, while the regional outfits make the fight triangular on 25-30 seats.