By Rajan Narayan

A BADLY crippled Narendra Modi had to climb up on the shoulders of N Chandrababu Naidu and Nitish Kumar to secure his third term as prime minister of the country. Far from crossing the 400 mark, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) could not even touch the 300 mark. The NDA could touch 300 only because of the 16 seats won by N Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam (Andhra Pradesh) and 15 seats won by Nitish Kumar’s Bihar group when he joined the BJP. Between them, Chandrababu and Nitish Kumar contributed over 30 seats to the NDA tally of 300 seats. Without them the NDA could not even have secured the simple majority of 272 seats in the 544-member parliament.
Narendra Modi could not secure even 250 seats for the BJP party in the 2024 parliamentary election. The BJP on its own secured only 245 seats which is 30 seats short of even a simple majority. Sorry, Ram Lalla did not come to the help of Narendra Modi despite all praying around at various temples and monuments.

INDEED, the BJP lost the Ayodhya seat to the Samajwadi party. Modi probably wishes that he had jumped over the Hanuman Sethu from the Vivekananda Memorial at Rameshwaram and taken asylum in Sri Lanka. Uttar Pradesh which had delivered 80 out of 80 seats to the BJP this time failed to win even half the number of 40 seats. The biggest winner in Uttar Pradesh this time is not the BJP but the Samajwadi party of Akhilesh Yadav.
Samajwadi party to everyone’s surprise won 37 of the 80 seats. The Congress contributed by winning both the Amethi and the Raebareli seats. The Congress snatched back the Amethi seat from Smriti Irani even though Rahul Gandhi shifted to the neighboring Raebareli seat. Raebareli was represented by Sonia Gandhi in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections. This time around Rahul Gandhi won the Raebareli seat comfortably. Rahul Gandhi scored a double as he also won the Wayanad seat in Kerala.
The Samajwadi party contributes the largest number of seats to the INDIA group which managed to secure a very competitive 234 seats in parliamentary seats. Out of this the contribution of the Congress party was only 99 seats. The other major winner for the INDI Alliance is Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal. Narendra Modi had boasted that the Trinamool Congress would be crashed in West Bengal. That West Bengal would give the BJP a bumper harvest to take it across the “400 paar” goal.

HOWEVER, Mamata-didi demonstrated that she is still very much in control of West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress won 29 of the 42 seats in West Bengal. Despite accusing Mamata of giving protection to molesters, the voters of West Bengal stood by the Mamata’s TMC. Among the big winners is Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata, and Moira Moitra, the TMC MP who was so cavalierly victimized by Narendra Modi.
Maharashtra also did not march to the saffron tune. The INDI Alliance got 28 seats with the BJP suffering a loss of 19 seats. on the eve of the election, the BJP split the Nationalist Congress party headed by Sharad Pawar and the Shiv Sena lead by Uddhav Thackeray. It is believed that Amit Shah threatened Ajit Pawar the nephew of Sharad Pawar if she did not join the BJP. Coincidently a mega corruption case of Rs25,000 crore was closed after Ajit Pawar joined the BJP. Ajit Pawar was forced to put up his wife against Supriya Sule the daughter of Sharad Pawar. Supriya Sule won the Baramati seat after a major setback to Narendra Modi and Ajit Pawar. The original Shiv Sena led by Uddhav Thackeray won 10 seats.
The BJP managed to salvage some respect by winning 19 of the 21 seats in Odisha. Odisha has been historically a stronghold of Naveen Patnaik. As predicted by the opinion polls the BJP won the Trivandrum seat in Kerala. The outgoing Information Technology minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar defeated senior Congress leader Sashi Tharoor. The alliance partner of the Congress, the DMK won 22 seats in Tamil Nadu. Among the BJP candidates who won was Yusuf Pathan the former Indian Cricket player. Between the DMK and the Telugu Desam party the southern states contributed 37 seats to the NDA score of 300 seats.
All the senior BJP leaders including Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and Rajnath Singh won by big margins. The biggest margin of over 20 lakhs was that of the Home Minister Amit Shah from Gandhi Nagar. Nitin Gadhkari the Union Transport Minister whom Modi did not want to give a ticket won from Nagpur election. But several top BJP leaders lost to the Samajwadi in Uttar Pradesh.
Already Sharad Pawar is in touch with Nitish Kumar and N Chandrababu Naidu to deny Narendra Modi a third term. Sharad Pawar approached the DMK which is the alliance partner of the Congress. The survival of Modi depends on its alliance partner as it did not have a majority of its own. Modi cannot go about giving guarantees since he is dependent on his alliance partner!

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