Again, reports coming from the ground after the sixth phase of elections that were held for 59 constituencies across seven states on May 12 do not paint a rosy picture for the BJP and the NDA at all. In 2014, the BJP had won 44 of these with its NDA allies Apna Dal and LJP lapping up one seat each.
In Uttar Pradesh, out of the 14 seats which went to the polls in the sixth phase, reports suggest that both the SP-BSP-RLD gathbandhan and the Congress have been able to put up quite a show of electoral strength in their strongholds that may see the BJP’s 12 seats in 2014 plummet to between two and three in 2019. Even Maneka Gandhi and her son Varun Gandhi may lose from Sultanpur and Pilibhit respectively.
In Haryana too, ground reports suggest that the Congress is in a position of considerable comfort in as many as seven seats out of the 10 total seats in the state. In 2014, the BJP had won seven, the INLD two and the Congress just one. There are reports of Jat votes consolidating in favour of the Congress.
Out of the eight seats each in Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, the BJP had won seven from each state in 2014. But this year, the Congress in MP and the RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar may easily end up wresting half of the seats that went to the polls on May 12. Reports from the ground suggest that Digvijaya Singh of the Congress is poised to win big in Bhopal against BJP’s candidate, the controversial terror-accused Sadhvi Pragya.
In Jharkhand too, the BJP had won all four seats in 2014 that went to the polls on May 12. Reports suggest the Congress-led alliance in Jharkhand is confident of winning at least two of these four.
Delhi had given all seven Lok Sabha seats to the BJP in 2014. However, that is unlikely to repeat as reports are coming in of strong showing by Sheila Dikshit, Ajay Maken, JP Agarwal and Arvinder Singh Lovely in their respective seats.
All eight seats in West Bengal that went to the polls on May 12 had gone to the All India Trinamool Congress. That is unlikely to change as ground reports suggest.
All in all, the sixth phase in a way validates the BJP’s wobbly path in the 2019 polls. The trends show that leave aside the magic number of 272, the party may even find it tough to reach 200 seats, when the counting gets over on May 23.