A month long process which started with the first phase of voting on April 13th has now ended. 16th May gives the voters final verdict, and a clear picture as to who is the front-runner to form the next Govt. Although, as per several exit and opinion polls, it looks clear that both the BJP and Congress will have a neck-and-neck race. As we move forward, we are sure to see old alliances bereaking up and new poll alliances forming, all in the name of forming a stable Govt. But, in reality, now is the time we will see the dirty side of Indian politics, where political parties change their pre-poll stance and join hands with those they fought against in the elections.
As we served you with detailed analysis, latest election news and previous winners through out the past month, we will stay with you through out the final process from 16th May till the 15th Lok Sabha is formed.
What Happened on 16th May '2009:
Well, if we had to sum-up as to what happened on the 16th of May 2009, we'd say carnage for BJP. BJP led NDA performed awfully bad, and lost more than 10 seast as compared to it's 2004 tally. Even the most ardent of Congress supporters would not have imagined that it'd be so smooth a ride for the Congress this year.
The counting started at 8 a.m. across 1080 counting centers across India and by 8.30 a.m., Congress had a clear lead of 30 seats on the BJP. But the initial results were mostly coming from the Southern part of India and it was widely expected that things from BJP will improve by 9.30 when counting in northern belt of India begins. However, as time passed, it gradually became clearer that Congress is marching to victory. By 11 a.m., Congress was over 75 seats ahead of BJP. Once the trend for all 543 constituencies cme out by around 12.30 p.m., Congress had crossed 200 mark and UPA 250 mark, while BJP was laggin way behind on 118 with NDA on 154. Slowly, but surely, the BJP leaders started conceding defeat and pointing to the follies that led to the defeat.
The major swing states for Congress were Uttar Pradesh, were it amazed everyone with 20 seats and Rajasthan, which helped it snatch almost 18 seats from teh BJP. It performed exceptonally well in Madhya Pradesh as well, taking 10 seats away from BJP. Then, it's alliance with Mamta Banerjee's Trinamool Congress prooved very fruitful, as Mamta alone won 19 seats. Mamta had just 1 seat in 2004 elections. On the other hand, BJP lost seats in all the states where it mattered like Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan. To add to its woes, it got no substantial gains in Maharashtra and Gujarat, as it had expected. It also lost all 5 seats in its own ruled state of Uttarakhand. Orissa dealt a severe blow to BJP chances as well, so much so that BJP won no seats here. BJD, with which BJP broke the alliance just before polls, bagged 16 seats. The only shining star for BJP & NDA was Bihar and Jharkhand where it almost swept the polls, and Chhattisgarh, where it won 10 out of 11 seats.
The Third Front
There were many contenders in the third front for the PM's post: Karat from Left, Mayawati from BSP, Sharad powar, although not a part of 3rd front, had its backing - but before mid-day, no one was talking about it anymore. Left, BSP, AIADMK all suffered huge setbacks. The Left moved away from the Govt over the nuclear deal issue. But any chances of it forming a Govt this year with the third front or Congress support ended early in the morning when it became clear that they are not going to go past 25 seats. This is the biggest loss Left has ever suffered.
Mayawati expected to get to Delhi riding on her elephant, but the elephant prooved too slow and lost steam half way. mayawati's party lagged behind on 23 seats, almost 20 short of expectations. Exit polls forcasted a clear winner for AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, but it emerged as just the third largest party, with a platry 9 seats. Aa such, The Third Front seems to have ended its aspirations of taking part in forming the Govt as Congress led UPA no longer needs it.
The Fourth Front
Not even in the wildest dreams would the Lalu-Mulayam-Paswan 4th front combination would have thought of the drubbing they got in India 2009 elections. The 4th front was formed to extract maximum benefits and negotiate hard for post-poll alliances. However, the 4th front emerged as the biggest loser. Congress went alone in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, and clearly it has got a new lease of life in both the states. Lalu led RJD lost substantial ground in Bihar to BJP and JD(U). RJD has just won 4 seats this time, as compared to 24 in 2004. Paswan had the worst deal as he lost his own seat as well. A famous line about Paswan is that Paswan is neither with LEFT nor RIGHT, he's always with the CENTER. Looks like this year he won't be even with the center! Samajwadi Party did manage 20 seats in UP with a loss of 10 seats since 2004, but it does not give any mandate to the 4th front to negotiate hard with the Congress. Lalu Yadav later in the evening did confess that they made a big mistake by not forging an alliance with the Congress.
Curious case of Chidambaram
P. Chidambaram, the Union Home Minister of India, and a prominent Congress leader was shown trailing from the Sivaganga constituency of Tamil Nadu. Till afternoon, he was shown trailing behind, and was finally shown as lost. However, quite miraculously, a re-counting of votes was ordered and Chidambaram was declared the winner!
The Final Verdict
With 254 seats in its kitty, UPA is all set to return back to power. Although it still needs around 20 seats for a full majority, the road seems pretty easy as that can be done by just including the Independants and others. BJP needs to introspect harder this time as to why it goes wrong everytime when things otherwise seem right for them. This year, the issues seemed genuine enough- price rise, lost jobs, terror attacks, no major poll alliances by Congress...However, it seems none of these mattered as Congress emerged even stronger than previous years and BJP weaker. As for the third and 4th fronts, it probably is a high time they sit together and introspect if they just need to make fronts to negotiate for ministerial berths or want to genuinely come out as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP.