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Lok Sabha Elections 2024

As the counting for the Lok Sabha Elections 2024 continues, it has become evident that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is struggling to secure a majority on its own. The INDIA bloc, a coalition of opposition parties formed to challenge the BJP, has gained significant ground, leading in 228 seats — a stark contrast to the exit polls that predicted less than 200 seats for them. In 2019, the BJP had secured a robust 303 seats independently, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) amassed 353 seats. Here are five critical factors that appear to have contributed to the BJP’s faltering performance this time around:

1. The Uttar Pradesh Shocker

One of the most unexpected developments has been in Uttar Pradesh, a crucial state for the BJP, where the INDIA bloc has won 40 of the 80 seats. This is a significant drop from 2019, when the BJP captured 62 seats in the state. The BJP’s campaign strategy heavily relied on large rallies featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. In contrast, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra adopted a grassroots approach, camping in Rae Bareli and Amethi, focusing on small, community-based meetings rather than grandiose rallies.

Political analysts have noted that the BJP’s decision to repeat many of its incumbent MPs, unlike its strategy in Delhi where it replaced all but six sitting MPs, might have contributed to voter fatigue and dissatisfaction.

2. Ram Mandir Campaign

The construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya was a cornerstone of the BJP’s campaign, expected to galvanize support. However, the issue did not seem to resonate with the voters as anticipated. This is exemplified by the BJP trailing in the Faizabad constituency, which encompasses Ayodhya. In neighboring constituencies, the BJP is leading in only two out of seven seats. The Congress is leading in Amethi and Barabanki, while the Samajwadi Party (SP) is ahead in Sultanpur, Ambedkarnagar, and Basti. Both Congress and SP are part of the INDIA bloc.

3. The Agnipath Scheme

The Agnipath scheme, aimed at recruiting soldiers, has faced severe criticism, particularly from Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. This scheme appears to have negatively impacted the BJP’s performance, especially in Rajasthan and Haryana, states that contribute significantly to the defense and paramilitary forces. In Haryana, where the BJP swept all ten seats in 2019, the party is now leading in only five, with the Congress ahead in the other five. Similarly, in Rajasthan, the BJP+ alliance, which had won all 25 seats in 2019, is leading in just 14, with Congress ahead in eight.

4. Splits in Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, the BJP has encountered setbacks, leading in only 12 seats compared to the 23 seats it won in 2019. The Congress is leading in 11 seats, while the Shiv Sena (Uddhav Thackeray faction), an INDIA bloc partner, is leading in ten seats. The Eknath Shinde faction of Shiv Sena, aligned with the BJP, is leading in six seats. The split within Shiv Sena in 2022 and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 2023 has seemingly confused and disillusioned voters. Delays in announcing NDA candidates and ongoing Maratha agitations for reservations in education and government jobs have also played a role in the BJP’s diminished performance.

5. Turncoats

Several Congress members who switched allegiance to the BJP have not fared well in the elections. In Punjab, Ravneet Bittu and Preneet Kaur, both Congress defectors, are trailing. Similarly, in Haryana, Ashok Tanwar, who joined the BJP just before the elections, is also trailing in the Sirsa constituency. These defections seem to have backfired, with voters possibly perceiving them as opportunistic rather than genuine representatives of change.


The 2024 Lok Sabha elections have revealed significant challenges for the BJP, from strategic missteps in key states like Uttar Pradesh to the repercussions of controversial policies such as the Agnipath scheme. Additionally, internal splits within allied parties in Maharashtra and the poor performance of turncoat candidates have further dented the BJP’s prospects. As the results continue to roll in, it is clear that the party will need to undertake a thorough introspection and recalibrate its strategies to regain its footing in Indian politics.

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The final phase of the 18th Lok Sabha elections commenced at 7 am on Saturday, marking the conclusion of India’s grand democratic exercise to elect 543 representatives for the 18th Lok Sabha. This phase encompasses 57 constituencies, including 41 general seats, three reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST), and 13 for Scheduled Castes (SC), spanning eight states and Union Territories. Additionally, voters in 42 assembly constituencies of the Odisha Legislative Assembly are also casting their ballots today.

The states and union territories participating in this seventh phase are Bihar (8 out of 40 seats), Himachal Pradesh (4 out of 4 seats), Jharkhand (3 out of 14 seats), Odisha (6 out of 21 seats), Punjab (13 out of 13 seats), Uttar Pradesh (13 out of 80 seats), West Bengal (9 out of 42 seats), and the Chandigarh Union Territory. As the polling concludes, it will mark the end of the world’s largest electoral marathon, which began on April 19 and has already covered six phases and 486 Lok Sabha seats.

Key Candidates in the Spotlight

Several prominent candidates are in the fray during this final phase. Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeks a third term representing Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, facing off against Congress’ Ajay Rai. Former Union Minister and BJP stalwart Ravi Shankar Prasad is contesting from Patna Sahib. Actress Kangana Ranaut has entered the political arena from Mandi, Himachal Pradesh. Other notable candidates include Congress’ Manish Tewari from Chandigarh, Samajwadi Party leader Afzal Ansari from Ghazipur, and Bhojpuri star Pawan Singh from Karakat.

Key Facts About Phase 7

  • Voter Demographics: Over 10.06 crore voters are eligible to vote in this phase, comprising 5.24 crore males, 4.82 crore females, and 3,574 third-gender electors.
  • Polling Infrastructure: Approximately 10.9 lakh polling officials are on duty to facilitate voting across around 1.09 lakh polling stations.

High-Profile Contests

All eyes are particularly on Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi and Himachal Pradesh’s Mandi constituencies, both strongholds for the BJP. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s candidature from the historic temple town of Varanasi is a significant highlight. In Mandi, actress Kangana Ranaut’s entry into politics has generated considerable interest and media attention.

Campaigning and Security

Campaigning for the seventh phase concluded on Friday, May 30. The Election Commission has ensured tight security arrangements across all polling stations to ensure a smooth and fair voting process. The weather department has also issued advisories to help manage voter turnout, given the summer heat.

As India wraps up its largest democratic exercise, the nation eagerly awaits the results, which will determine the next government and the future course of the country’s political landscape. With a mix of seasoned politicians and new entrants, the final phase promises to be a climactic end to a closely watched election season.

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India witnessed a significant voter turnout of around 60.03% as millions of citizens cast their votes in the first phase of the Lok Sabha Elections 2024. The election, spanning 102 seats across 21 states and Union Territories, kicked off amid reports of sporadic violence in Manipur and West Bengal.

Sporadic Violence Mars Polling Process

In the state of Bengal, clashes erupted between workers of the Trinamool Congress and the BJP in Cooch Behar. Additionally, reports of gunfire surfaced from a polling station in Manipur, while a polling station was vandalized in Imphal. These incidents raised concerns about the smooth conduct of the electoral process.

Efforts to Ensure Smooth Conduct

The Election Commission, responsible for overseeing the seven-phase election spread over 43 days, assured citizens of its commitment to ensuring a transparent and inclusive electoral process. Despite the sporadic incidents of violence, the Commission remains determined to facilitate a smooth voting experience in the subsequent phases.

High Turnout in Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh

Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, which also held assembly elections alongside the Lok Sabha polls, reported turnout percentages of 68% and 68.3%, respectively. However, these figures marked a decline compared to the 2019 elections, signaling a potential shift in voter sentiment.

Variation in Voter Turnout Across States

Tamil Nadu, conducting a single-day election, witnessed a turnout of 62.3%, down from 72.4% in the previous election. Similarly, Rajasthan reported a turnout of 50.9%, lower than the 64% recorded previously. In contrast, Uttar Pradesh recorded 57.6% voting, while Madhya Pradesh saw 63.3% turnout.

Political Dynamics and Projections

In Bengal, where the BJP aims to narrow the gap with the Trinamool Congress, a high voter turnout of 77.57% was reported. The BJP-dominated northeastern states also saw substantial turnout, with Assam recording 71.3%, Meghalaya 70.2%, Manipur 68.6%, Arunachal Pradesh 65.4%, and Tripura an impressive 79.9%.

Expectations and Projections

The BJP, confident in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity, aims for a strong performance, especially in the southern states and Bengal. Conversely, the Congress projects optimism about its performance in northern states, including Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, emphasizing its potential for a comeback.

Counting of Votes and Future Outlook

The counting of votes is scheduled for June 4, where the fate of political parties and candidates will be revealed. With the elections set to unfold over multiple phases, the political landscape of India is poised for significant shifts, reflecting the diverse aspirations of its electorate.

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Prominent Participation: Chief Ministers and MPs Cast Ballots Early
In the inaugural phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, prominent political figures, including Chief Ministers and sitting Members of Parliament, demonstrated active participation by casting their ballots early.

Notable Figures: CM Conrad K. Sangma, Sitting Tura MP Agatha K. Sangma, and Others Lead the Way
Among the early voters were figures such as Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma, Sitting Tura MP Agatha K. Sangma, and Congress candidate Gaurav Gogoi, symbolizing the importance of voter engagement in shaping the democratic process.

Key Contests: Union Ministers and Political Heavyweights in the Fray
The electoral battleground witnessed the participation of several key faces, including eight Union Ministers like Nitin Gadkari, Kiren Rijiju, and Sarbanada Sonowal, highlighting the significance of the first phase in shaping national politics.

Regional Dynamics: Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Play Crucial Role
Tamil Nadu and Puducherry collectively contributed the largest number of seats in the first phase, with the Dravidian giants DMK and AIADMK remaining formidable contenders amidst BJP’s aspirations in the state.

Simultaneous Polls: Assembly Elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim
The parliamentary polls unfolded alongside Assembly elections in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, adding another layer of electoral dynamism to the proceedings and shaping regional politics.

Caste Dynamics: Caste Politics Come to Fore in Western Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarnagar
In regions like western Uttar Pradesh and Muzaffarnagar, caste dynamics took center stage as communities mobilized around identity and representation, shaping the electoral discourse.

High Turnout: Brisk Polling in Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur-Doda Seat
Jammu and Kashmir’s Udhampur-Doda Lok Sabha seat witnessed brisk polling, with voters turning out early to participate in the democratic process amidst a complex socio-political landscape.

Leadership Example: RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and CM Conrad Sangma Lead by Example
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma were among the notable personalities who cast their votes early, emphasizing the importance of civic duty and responsible participation in the electoral process.

Overall Impact: Phase One Marks Beginning of Crucial Chapter in India’s Democratic Journey
The commencement of phase one of the Lok Sabha Elections marked the initiation of a significant chapter in India’s democratic journey, laying the groundwork for further political developments and electoral engagements in the days to come.

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