Results for assemblies of 5 states is a mixed bag for everyone. Thread.
Lets start with the Left parties. They should now realise (if not already) that this is game over for them in WB and there is no way they can stage a comeback in that state. Bye bye West Bengal! However in Kerala ...
In Kerala, their victory is so sweet. The results are a mirror image of 2016. They have won throughout the state which is a heartening factor for them. The principal opposition UDF had 2 major parties. Congress is down almost everywhere (incl in Wayanad). However, the IUML ...
However, the IUML has taken a real beating. This seems to be a sweet revenge for the Christians in Congress (UDF) who were fed up with the high-handness of Muslim leaders of IUML and Congress.
For Pinarayi Vijayan, his strategy of not letting 2 time ministers compete again has worked. There are no mid-level leaders who can take him on from within the party. He can mould the party in his own way. His rule for another 5 years is almost certain.
Let's move on to Congress. Their mahajot alliance in Assam failed to deceive. They just weren't able to challenge the organizational superiority of BJP in Assam. Also, their alliance with AIUDF didn't help them overall. Elsewhere in West Bengal ...
Elsewhere in West Bengal, Congress is like JDS in Bihar. Who knows, who cares! Congress can forget even those 3-4 LS seats that it had remote chances. Moving to Puducherry ...
Puducherry was one UT where Congress could have handled well. But alas, Congress is such a listless party that even when Rahul Gandhi was busy meeting college girls in Puducherry, Amit Shah was poaching his MLAs to bring the Cong govt down...
If you think only BJP is to be blamed for Cong plight in Puducherry, you are wrong. DMK literally put its foot down by giving very less seats for Cong to fight and also being firm that V Narayanasamy shouldn't even contest. It was game over for Cong in Puducherry.
However, the only shining light for Congress was in Tamil Nadu. Piggybacking on DMK's back, Congress has won 17 of 25 giving it some brownie points. It's conversion ratio is 68% while BJP's in TN is 25% (5 of 20).
Let's focus on BJP in Assam. The major question everyone had will BJP's margin reduce from last time. The loss was very minimal (4) for ally AGP. So, BJP can heave a sigh of relief. There was a CAA-led scare last year which made people think that Assam was gone for BJP...
And BJP seems to have covered a lot of ground from those CAA protest days and reached status quo. Sarbananda Sonowal can heave a high of relief while Himanta Biswa Sarma gets to smile ear-to-ear! Moving to BJP in Kerala...
BJP's own perfomance in Kerala is a disappointment that everyone's gotten used to. A mere oscillation of vote percentage from 10-17% will not help you win seats. And even Nemom is gone from its control. But...
The near decimation of UDF in Christian dominated midlands of Kottayam, Idukki, Ernakulam and in Muslim dominated/influenced areas of Kannur, Kasaragode, Kozhikode, Malappuram gives BJP a ray of hope.
BJP has no other option left but to focus on a blatant strategy of appeasing Christians. Will the Christians oblige? No one knows! But BJP has no other tricks left!
BJP will feel satisfied that its strategy worked to the T in Puducherry. It's alliance with ADMK and AINRC and it contesting 9 seats (while ADMK contested 5) has helped it to win 5 seats. The alliance itself has 15 of 30 but there are enough nominations to be made.
BJP in Tamil Nadu again was partly sweet, partly bitter. Vote transferability from any major party to BJP was also a major unknown. BJP now has 5 and they will continue to challenge DMK ideologically. PMK having only 4 (out of 23) makes BJP a bigger party than PMK.
BJP in West Bengal is again a partly sweet, partly bitter story. True, it aimed for 200. It's thinking must have been that it has enough tailwind for it to be accepted by subaltern Hindus even if Bhadralok are hesitant.
The post-Amphan devastation fiasco, BJP thought, would automatically make the people of 24 Paraganas vote for them. But it seems the BJP just over-estimated its chances there and everywhere else. And in the process, ...
And in the process, also ended up losing ground in Medinipur, Birbhum and other tribal belts. Many sitting BJP MPs are now facing ignominy of having lost MLA elections. In a way, BJP realises that demographics just doesn't help it in WB (just like in Kerala).
TMC comes off better than any other party today. It has achieved the unthinkable. Only Arvind Kejriwal, Naveen Patnaik and K Chandrashekhar Rao could stand up to Modi but Mamata standing up to the might of BJP and repeating her 2016 success would make BJP eat humble pie.
This offers TMC a unique challenge. It has no other option but to say we will challenge BJP nationally. But for that, TMC will have to spread to other states. Mamata won't want to fight under Congress elsewhere. At most, Mamata might ally / fight under Sharad Pawar (my guess).
This is actually a silver lining for BJP too. In the Hindi heartland, the voter had already decided that Congress is no match for BJP. Will he look at Mamata's TMC and consider her as a national alternative? I don't think so.
Pawar (health permitting), Kejriwal, Capt Amrinder Singh, YS Jagan will all try to make the most of this chaotic situation.
Each of these satraps will amplify local level / state level problems (like finance package for AP after its bifurcation) to maximise their gains in their states. But their see local, think local, act local will blind them from addressing national issues.
Millennials don't remember the Federal Govt experiments of early 1990s. They might be tempted to try it out again. Instagrams, TikToks will see such amplified message in favour of a 'mili-jhuli' sarkar being better than a national party who doesn't have to hear to anyone!
So, BJP will want to address this challenge. How will they? Its up to them. After all, BJP still continues to say today's verdict vindicates BJP's claim that Congress is done & dusted! Stupid, I would say! Talk about yourself and your vision for tomorrow's India!
BJP has another back-door strategy actually. To bring the discontented populations in opposition ruled states to vote for BJP in 2024 polls. But that is not BJP's strong point. See BJP's messaging in KL, PB, AP in 2014 and 2019.
As analysts, we will continue to analyse every move of every party. And we will have our hands full in the run up to 2024! Bring it on!

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