New Delhi, Dec 18: The Congress on Monday lost power in yet another state. The party’s loss in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat have added to the string of defeats that the party has faced in the last three years, beginning 2014.
The 2014 Lok Sabha elections marked a new low for the Congress when the number of seats the party won was even less than the percentage of votes it had polled in 1984.
In 1984, the Congress riding on an emotional wave after the assassination of Indira Gandhi, won an unprecedented 415 seats with a vote share of 48 per cent. 30 years later in 2014, the party under Sonia and Rahul Gandhi got reduced to 44 seats, the party’s worst ever performance.
Unfortunately for the Congress, the slide did not stop with the 2014 elections. In the last three years, the Congress has not managed to retain power in any of the states where assembly elections have been held. The party though has managed to register victory in Punjab and Puducherry, where it was not in power.
Today, out of total 29, the Congress has governments in only four states – Karnataka, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Punjab. The BJP, on the other hand, is ruling 14 states on its own and is a junior partner in coalition governments in five other states. A total of 18 states have gone to the polls after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Of them, BJP has registered win in 11 states while the Congress has managed victory in two only.
The string of defeats for the Congress in the states started with the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when the party which was instrumental in the partition of Andhra Pradesh, lost elections in both Andhra Pradesh and Telengana.
The Congress did win in Arunachal Pradesh. However, it’s victory here was short-lived as several party MLAs ditched the party and joined the BJP.
Thereafter, elections were held in Jammu & Kashmir, Jharkhand, Haryana and Maharashtra. The Congress was on the ruling side in all the four states. While it was running the government in Haryana, it was a coalition partner in the other three states.
While the BJP managed to wrest Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra from the Congress, in Jammu and Kashmir it formed a coalition government with the PDP.
In 2015, assembly elections were held in Bihar and Delhi. In Delhi, the AAP storm decimated the Congress, which could not even open its account, while the BJP was reduced to mere 3 seats. In Bihar, the BJP lost the elections and the Congress was a coalition partner in Nitish Kumar led JD(U) government. However, one and half years down the line, Nitish Kumar joined hands with the BJP and the Congress was pushed to the opposition camp.
In 2016, the Congress lost Kerala to the Left and Assam to the BJP. The Congress had little to lose in Tamil Nadu, where AIADMK returned to power. In West Bengal, the Congress tried its luck in coalition with the Left. But the experiment failed and Mamata Banerjee returned to power with a thumping majority.
Five states went to polls in the beginning of this year. While Congress managed to trounce the BJP-Akali combine in Punjab, it lost Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa to the BJP. Ironically, in Goa and Manipur, the Congress did manage to emerge as the single largest party, but it was the BJP that managed to form governments in the two states.
In the latest round of assembly polls, the Congress has once again failed to dislodge the BJP from power in Gujarat, While it has lost Himachal Pradesh to the BJP.