New Delhi: The year 2018 will be remembered as the year of major political developments. The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) suffered an electoral setback while on the other hand, Congress Party president Rahul Gandhi emerged as a credible leader especially after the recently held assembly elections.
In 2018, Narendra Modi-led government came under direct attack for Rafale deal, Triple Talaq. The saffron party had to face a no-confidence motion, which also turned out to be the first major show of opposition unity against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Here the elections which grand old party wins:
1. Rajasthan Bye-election 2018: The New Year had begun with a bang for the Congress party as it routed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in two Lok Sabha seats and an Assembly constituency in Rajasthan. The Congress had won both Ajmer and Alwar Lok Sabha seats with a huge margin and defeated the BJP in Mandalgarh Assembly seat as well.
Congress’s Raghu Sharma had defeated BJP’s Ramswaroop Lamba by 84,414 votes in Ajmer Lok Sabha seat. In Alwar seat, Congress’s Karan Singh Yadav had defeated Jaswant Singh Yadav by 1,96,496 votes. Congress candidate Vivek Dhakar won the Mandalgarh Assembly seat by 12,976 votes.
With the win in today’s bypoll, the Congress tally in the Lok Sabha has risen to 48. The election result assumes significance as the state will go to polls later this year.
All the three seats fell vacant after the death of Ajmer MP Sanwar Lal Jat, Alwar MP Chand Nath, and Mandalgarh MLA Kirti Kumari, who all were from the BJP.
While in December 2017, Congress won all the four Zila Parishad seats. Out of 27 Panchayat Samiti, Congress won 16, BJP 10 and Independent 1. And 14 Municipal wards saw both Congress and BJP winning seven each.
2. Karnataka Assembly Election 2018: Karnataka witnesses major political drama in the assembly elections. Three major parties—BJP, Congress and JD(S) were contesting in the election. Though the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) emerged as the single largest party with 104 seats in Karnataka Assembly elections, the Congress and the JD(S) forged a post-poll alliance to keep the BJP at bay. The JD-S (36) and Congress (78) alliance has 117 members in the House.
As the results were being declared, the Congress and the JDS joined hands to form a coalition government in the state. But, Karnataka Governor Vajubhai Vala invited BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa to form a government in the state and gave the party 15 days to prove its majority. Congress rejected this move and criticised the saffron party of indulging into such low politics.
The grand old party challenged this move in the Supreme Court, which conducted a midnight hearing. Though the top court declined to stop Yeddyurappa’s swearing-in ceremony but reduced the time limit for floor test to just 24 hours. Yeddyurappa-led BJP lost the floor test and JDS leader HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the Chief Minister.
On the sworn ceremony, a galaxy of national and regional leaders and Chief Ministers of some non-BJP states from across the country came.
3. Madhya Pradesh Assembly Election: The Congress had crossed the 100-mark in a House of 230 in the assembly election. The party stood managed to claim victory in 114 seats. On the other hand, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won 109. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Samajwadi Party (SP) and Independents had managed to claim 2, 1 and 4 seats, respectively as the state appeared headed for a cliffhanger. The majority mark in the state is 116.
The state had witnessed many twists and turns in the political equation of Madhya Pradesh. While senior Congress leader Kamal Nath, on one hand, announced that the Congress had attained clear majority, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on the other, congratulated the Congress for its victory in Assembly Elections 2018 and had said the BJP, which has suffered reverses in the polls, accepts people’s mandate with humility.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi had said that the assembly poll outcome is a “clear message” to the Modi government that people are not happy with it and time has come for a change while asserting that his party will also win in 2019. “The BJP has a certain ideology and we will fight against it. We have won this election, we will also win in 2019. However, we do not want to get rid of anyone, ‘hum kisi ko mukt nahi karna chahtein’,” Gandhi had said while hitting out at the BJP for its often-stated remark of Congress-mukt (Congress-free) Bharat.
4. Chhattisgarh Assembly Election: The Indian National Congress (INC) had scored a massive victory in the state assembly polls, bagging 68 seats in the 90-member House. The Chhattisgarh poll results is a huge setback for BJP stalwart Raman Singh, who led the party for 15 years in the state. In the 2013 Assembly polls, the BJP had won 49 seats, the Congress 39, while one seat each was bagged by the BSP and an Independent.
In the last Chhattisgarh elections, the BJP had won 49, the Congress 39, while one seat each was bagged by the BSP and an Independent.
This time, it was a high stake election not just for the national parties, BJP and Congress, but also for regional forces. These assembly elections are also the last before the 2019 general elections.
This time, among all political stakeholders, the outcome is most significant for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP. Tuesday’s result could give a peek into whether the electoral momentum is in the favour or against BJP ahead of the 2019 general elections.
5. Rajasthan Assembly Election: The Congress grabbed Rajasthan from the BJP in the 2018 assembly polls. The Congress won 99 seats, BJP won 73 and BSP won 6 seats out of the 199 seats that went to polls. A minimum of 101 seats is needed to form a government in the House of 200.
The election in Alwar’s Ramgarh constituency was postponed due to the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party candidate Laxman Singh and next date of the election will be notified later.
Congress party chief Sachin Pilot had won from Tonk constituency defeating BJP’s Yoonus Khan by 54,179 votes. Former CM Ashok Gehlot also won in Sardarpura by over 45000 votes.
This defeat came as a wake-up call for the BJP as its arch-rival Congress wrested three key states, throwing wide open the Lok Sabha elections 2019 which until a few months ago appeared to be in the grip of PM Modi’s party.