New Delhi, (DHNS): The BJP made history on Thursday by storming to power in Assam, defeating three-term chief minister Tarun Gogoi of the Congress. J Jayalalithaa and Mamata Banerjee retained power in style in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal respectively.
It was bad news for the Congress which was ousted from power in Kerala, where O Rajagopal won from Nemom by a margin of 8,671 votes. Its alliances in West Bengal and Tamil Nadu virtually proved to be non-starters. The Congress, however, managed to better its tally marginally in West Bengal, where it would now be the main opposition party.
“The results will strengthen our resolve to bring about a change in the lives of the common man. These results also indicate that the BJP is receiving peoples’ acceptance across the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the BJP headquarters here.
In West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, it was the show of the regional parties. Defying all odds, Trinamool Congress bettered its performance in 2011 by winning 211 seats in the 294-member Assembly. The Congress, which had a ‘tactical understanding’ with the Left Front, was on course to win 44 seats, two more than last time, to emerge as the second largest party in the Assembly. The Left Front, which ruled the state for 34 years, was pushed to the third place as it won 33 seats.
It was history retracing its steps in Tamil Nadu as Jayalalithaa retained power – the first chief minister to do so in 32 years. In 1984, Jayalalithaa’s mentor M G Ramachandran had won back-to-back elections to keep DMK out of power. The AIADMK has secured 134 of the 232 seats that went to polls. The DMK-led alliance had won 98 seats. Captain Vijaykant’s DMDK, that had won 28 seats in the last elections, failed to open its account.
In neighbouring Kerala, the balance of power tilted in favour of the Left, this time decisively, to oust Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who was battling allegations in the solar scam and the bar bribery case. The Left Front romped home with 91 seats in the 140-member Assembly.
Puducherry was the only consolation prize for the Congress as it succeeded in ousting Chief Minister N Rangasamy. The Congress-DMK alliance won a simple majority of 17 in the 30-member assembly.
After defeats in Delhi and Bihar, the BJP got the script right in Assam. Striking the right alliances, BJP won 60 seats on its own, just four short of a simple majority. Its allies – Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front were winning 14 and 12 seats respectively. Union Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is set to be the chief minister of Assam.
The Assembly results further compound the problems for Rahul Gandhi, who is being looked upon by the Congress to revive the party and make it fighting fit before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
“The Congress rejects this improper suggestion totally,” AICC chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala said when asked whether the election results were a referendum on the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.