The Narendra Modi wave that began with the BJP’s emphatic win in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections doesn’t seem to fade away as the saffron party added Himachal Pradesh to its kitty while retaining its fort Gujarat. BJP’s plan of contesting state elections with Modi as its face seems to have been a masterstroke, as the saffron party has won nine out of the 17 polls held after 2014. Before the BJP now, the last time a political grouping was in control of 18 states was 24 years ago, underlining the mass appeal Modi has eschewed.
Here is a list of the states BJP has won after 2014:
1) Maharashtra: Immediately after winning the Lok Sabha elections, BJP retained Maharashtra from Congress in alliance with Shiv Sena. The saffron party secured 122 seats out of 288 in what seemed a no-confidence vote against the corruption-ridden Congress regime, in which scams like Adarsh came to the fore.
2) Haryana: The BJP added another feather to its cap after securing another Congress-ruled state. The script ran same in the Maharashtra elections as various land scams under the Bhupinder Singh Hooda came to be Congress’ undoing. The BJP won 47 out of 90 seats.
3) Jammu and Kashmir: BJP came to power in the northern-most state for the first time as Jammu voted en masse for the saffron party. In alliance with PDP, BJP ousted the Congress-NC combine with Modi’s appeal for “Kashmiriyat, insaniyaat and jamhooriyat”.
4) Jharkhand: The Maoist-infested state was the fourth state to go to BJP in 2014. It was the first time, since Jharkhand was created, for a single party to get majority in the state assembly.
5) Arunachal Pradesh: Even though BJP lost the assembly elections, it is presently ruling the state after political drama in 2016. About 43 Congress MLAs defected to BJP in 2016 and the party came to power with Pema Kjandu as its Chief Minister.
6) Assam: In 2015, BJP made its first foray in the north-east, which has been traditional Congress stronghold, and registered an emphatic victory in Assam. The saffron party won 86 out of 122 seats riding on the appeal of Himanta Biswa Sarma, who left the Congress before the polls.
7) Bihar: The elections to the Bihar assembly was the only major blip in Modi’s election march. To stop the Modi juggernaut, the Congress, JD(U) and RJD formed a Mahagathbandhan as the “Bihari vs Bahari” tagline came to be the PM’s undoing. However, corruption allegations against Lalu Prasad Yadan and family in 2016 saw Bihar CM Nitish Kumar moving out of the grand alliance and forming the government with BJP.
8) Goa: Congress was kicked out of another state as BJP tactfully entered into an alliance with Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party and Goa Forward Party to form the government even though the Grand Old Party won the maximum votes. The return of Manohar Parrikar as CM too played a role in BJP’s fortunes.
9) Uttar Pradesh: The elections to the Hindi heartland in 2016 was considered a test of BJP’s demonetisation drive and people voted emphatically for the saffron party, giving it 312 seats. Regional satraps like BSP and SP were completely routed and caste equations were sent for a toss.
10) Uttarakhand: Congress tasted defeat yet again as the charisma of Modi swept another state. The loss of Congress veteran Vijay Bahuguna just before the elections and internal bickering catapaulted BJP to power.
11) Manipur: BJP made inroads into another north-eastern state, stiching an allaince with the Naga People’s Front as the Congress once again failed to cobble up a coalition despite coming out as the largest party (28 seats to BJP’s 21) after the elections.