Elections 2017: Modi Stamps His Authority and Sets Up The Road to 2019

Assembly Elections-2017 Results

Assembly Elections-2017 Results

The results of the most-awaited elections of 2017 are out and Narendra Modi has led BJP to a historic sweep in UP and Uttarakhand. The BJP suffered losses in Punjab and Manipur. Government formation in Goa is still open with hectic negotiations already underway.


Uttar Pradesh: 403 seats

  • BJP: 312
  • SP-Cong: 54;  SP: 47; INC: 7
  • BSP: 19
  • RLD: 0
  • Apna Dal (Soneylal): 9
  • Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party: 4
  • Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal: 1
  • Independent: 3

Punjab: 117 Seats

  • INC: 77
  • SAD-BJP: 18  ;  SAD: 15 , BJP: 3
  • AAP: 20
  • Lok Insaaf Party: 2

Uttarakhand: 70 seats

  • BJP: 57
  • INC: 11
  • Independent: 2

Goa: 40 seats

  • INC: 17
  • BJP: 13
  • GFWP: 3
  • MGP: 3
  • NCP: 1
  • Independent: 3

Manipur: 60 seats

  • INC: 28
  • BJP: 21
  • NPF: 4
  • NPP: 4
  • AITC: 1
  • LJSP: 1
  • Independent: 1

The results and why

Uttar Pradesh

Narendra Modi has led BJP to a historic win in Uttar Pradesh, a victory that will impact national politics and political equations for a long time. The margin of win points to a larger vote share than what BJP commanded during the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 in UP, which means Modi wave is back with a bang.

Let’s look at the results and try and understand what it tells us. Narendra Modi is not just a central leader but has once again cemented his place as the flag bearer of his party, pretty much the way Indira Gandhi had for the Congress for several decades.

He continues to stand unchallenged and will now be the party’s mascot going into general elections coming up in 2019. Another factor emerging is Amit Shah, whose credibility as a master strategist was questioned after debacles in Delhi and Bihar. The results point to his uncanny but pragmatic ability to understand and play local equations to the party’s advantage.

UP is one of the most caste-dominated political states in India and getting the caste equation right has always been the most crucial factor for any party. The fact that Amit Shah has successfully consolidated his upper caste votes while managing to draw a significant section of the SC/ST, OBC and Muslim votes, points to people of UP giving precedence to ‘development’ over ‘caste’ for the first time.

In western UP, the Jats were expected to go against the BJP and in favour of Ajit Singh’s RLD, but that has clearly not happened. In the end, it was ‘development’ that seems to have gone in favour of the BJP and this will go down as the major turning point in UP politics.

SP-Cong’s poor performance can be attributed to infighting between the Yadav family members but that alone is not the only reason. There was an undercurrent of anti-incumbency against the SP (prior to the family fallout) and this has showed itself in the final results.

Very obviously, Akhilesh Yadav miscalculated his strategy in placing so much faith on INC, and Rahul Gandhi in particular, by offering 105 seats, much against the wishes of most of his party men and family. His folly has been confirmed, with INC failing to touch double digits. Opportunity lost.

What is expected to follow now will be severe infighting within SP, with Mulayam Singh and Shivpal Yadav trying to wrest back the party control from Akhilesh. Overall, SP is bound to come out weaker.

Another big outcome in UP and perhaps national politics, is Mayawati being pushed into insignificance. Clearly, her brand of politics in championing only the Dalit vote bank, in lieu of an inclusive all-caste approach, has once again failed her. Five years of remaining in the sidelines from now with age and heath working against her will only leave her as a fringe player.

Lastly, a large section of Muslims have placed their bets on ‘development’ and gone with the BJP. Muslim-dominated Deoband stands as the perfect example where BJP has won. That’s a break for BJP and they will need to consolidate and build on this faith.


On expected lines, SAD-BJP alliance has been shown the door but what is surprising is that AAP has failed to live up to its own expectations. Capt. Amarinder Singh of INC has successfully worked the anti-incumbency to his advantage and succeeded in keeping AAP at bay.

The biggest contradiction in Punjab is the fact that while INC has done well in coming back to power, Capt. Amarinder Singh has lost to Badal Senior in Lambi . This result is a shocker as Parkash Singh Badal was seen to be on weaker ground against Amarinder Singh in Lambi. He has however, won from Patiala.

One thing remains, the win in Punjab can be clearly attributed to Capt. Amarinder Singh’s efforts alone, with no impact or influence from Rahul or any other member of the Gandhi family.

Arvind Kejriwal’s political dream of AAP ruling Punjab is over and it will be back to the drawing board for him and his party.

As for the Badals, they can’t be written off completely just yet and they will have to wait for another day to get back power. That, of course, will be a fight without their nemesis Capt. Amarinder Singh, who has already announced that this will be his last election.


The state has voted decisively in favour of BJP and the INC has been wiped out. What is telling is that CM Harish Rawat has lost from both the seats he contested which further exposes the level of anti-incumbency in the state.


CM Parsekar losing from Mandrem is a shocker for the BJP. Clearly, he has failed to fill in Manohar Parrikar’s shoes, and now Parrikar will have to once again work towards rebuilding the party in the state.

AAP had high hopes in Goa but here again it overestimated its popularity.


CM Ibobi Singh has proven that he continues to dominate state politics. The ‘Gandhi’ factor is non-existent here too and the likelihood of INC spreading out in the North East remains minimal. Irom Sharmila’s entry in state politics has been a non-issue.

Key takeaways from these results:

  • Brand Narendra Modi emerges stronger, even in states where they have lost.
  • Advantage BJP in 2019 general elections.
  • BJP set to remain a dominant party for a long time.
  • Chances of an ‘effective’ Mahagathbandhan emerging against BJP in 2019 is diminished.
  • Highest votes in Manipur and Goa shows INC cannot be written off just yet although continued reliance on the ‘Gandhi’ family will draw down their chances of a revival. Rahul Gandhi’s ascendency to party president could well be challenged.
  • AAP has flattered to deceive and will find it very difficult to revive itself. They have clearly lost their ‘fresh’ approach appeal. Its disadvantage for brand Arvind Kejriwal.
  • Caste politics is waning in regional elections although it will remain a factor for some more time.
  • Mayawati’s dream to emerge a major player in national politics will now have to wait.
  • Demonetisation has not given the economy any gains but has not resulted in any disadvantage for the BJP either.
  • Solid development in UP will now be a reality.

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