NEW DELHI: As 2019 will be remembered for the victory of the NDA led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha elections, 2020 will be remembered as the year the BJP made big gains in the polls held for local bodies across the country. Moreover, while the BJP also won the Elections to the Bihar Assembly, Led by Arvind Kejriwal Aam Aadmi feast (AAP) decisively won the Delhi state polls for the second consecutive term.
The year will also be remembered for the elections that took place during COVID-19 times. the Delhi Assembly Elections took place in February, when the pandemic had not yet become a threat. By the time the Bihar polls took place in October-November, the coronavirus disease had started to recede after reaching its crescendo.
BJP’s performance in the many assembly bypolls held throughout the year has been impressive. It has also made rapid progress in elections to local bodies in several states, from Kashmir to Kerala and northeast to Rajasthan.
The year 2020 started with the Delhi Assembly elections which took place in February. Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal – whose first stint as CM in 2013-2014 is known as AK-49 because his government only lasted 49 days – pulled out all the guns.
While the AAP had won 67 of 70 assembly seats in 2015, leaving just three for the BJP, its tally slipped slightly to 62. The BJP improved the number of seats in its cage to eight.
The performance of Congress was as humiliating in 2020 as it was in 2015. It was unable to open its account in those two elections.
During the Bihar Assembly elections, the seat of the BJP saw a significant increase. It became the second largest party after RJD led by Lalu Prasad. While RJD won 75 of the 243 Assembly seats, the BJP was just one seat down at 74. Along with its partner NDA – the JD (U) which was then headed by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar – the BJP has again formed the government in the state.
The BJP won at the expense of Congress, which was again the biggest loser.
The BJP has also been victorious in recent assembly polls in several states, including Madhya Pradesh, where it won 19 of 28 constituencies that went to the polls; Manipur where he won four of the five constituencies that went to the polls; Uttar Pradesh where he won eight of the nine seats; and Gujarat where he emerged victorious on the eight seats.
Previously, he won the Dubakka assembly by-election in Telangana by snatching the seat from the ruling TRS led by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
However, the BJP suffered a setback in Baroda’s assembly in Haryana where it lost to Congress. The Olympic wrestler and Yogeshwar Dutt of the BJP lost the by-election in the Sonipat district of Haryana to the Congressional Indu Raj Narwal. It was Yogeshwar Dutt’s second consecutive defeat. He had lost to Krishan Hooda of Congress.
Elections of local bodies
The BJP dramatically improved its performance in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) election, coming in second after the ruling TRS. He left behind AIMIM led by Asaduddin Owaisi.
Also in Rajasthan’s civic elections, the BJP won more seats than the ruling Congress.
In the elections for local bodies in Kerala, the BJP made unprecedented forays into state politics. He not only improved his tally from 1,200 seats in the previous 2015 election to 1,600 this time, but he also made inroads into the strongholds of top Congressional leaders such as former Defense Minister AK Antony, the former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, leader of the opposition in Kerala. Ramesh Chennithala and Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha MP Assembly Shashi Tharoor.
He also emerged victorious in Sabarimala which falls to Pandalam. Sabarimala has been the epicenter of protests organized by the party along with other Hindu groups against the entry of menstruating women into the temple.
The BJP has leaped forward in the northeast as well, winning elections to the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) and Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC) in Assam and civic polls in Arunachal Pradesh.
In the recent BTC elections, the BJP won nine seats and aligned with the United People’s Liberal Party (UPPL) to come to power. In the 2015 BTC elections, the BJP won only one seat and was in power in coalition with its alliance partner in the state government – Bodo People’s Front (BPF). However, he did not align with BPF to come to power in the Bodoland Territorial Council.
In the TAC elections, the BJP won 33 seats and came to power. In the 2015 election, he won just three seats.
The BJP was the biggest winner while Congress and the PDP were the biggest losers in the very first District Development Council (DDC) elections held in Jammu and Kashmir. It was also the first elections after the cancellation of Article 370 in August 2019 and the change in the status of Jammu and Kashmir from a state to a Union territory.
The BJP entered the Kashmir Valley by winning three of 140 seats. It was a major boost for the national party. The Seven Party People’s Alliance for the Gupkar Declaration (PAGD or popularly known as the Gupkar Alliance) emerged victorious from the majority of seats in the Kashmir Valley while the BJP performed well in the Jammu region .
While the 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley are dominated by Muslims, six of the 10 districts in the Jammu region are dominated by Hindus. The remaining four districts of Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Kishtwar which border the Kashmir valley have a significant Muslim population. The results more or less mirrored the 2014 Jammu and Kashmir assembly and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Of the 280 seats – 140 each in the Kashmir Valley and the Jammu region – the BJP became the largest party, winning 74 seats. While the National Conference (NC) led by Farooq Abdullah won 67 seats, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by Mehbooba Mufti won 27 and Congress 26.
According to the pre-election arrangements, the seven-party Gupkar Alliance, composed mainly of PDP and NC, was the winner by winning 112 seats.
The BJP also emerged victorious in the Ladakh Hill Council elections. Ladakh was separated from Jammu and Kashmir and was created as a separate Union territory when Article 370 was canceled.
The BJP also maintained a strong lead in the Karnataka panchayat election results. It appeared to be a repeat of the 2018 State Assembly elections. The BJP claimed to be at the top of the table, with Congress coming in second and JD (S) in third.
However, the year ended for the BJP on a different note. Haryana’s ruling BJP-Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) coalition government suffered a setback on Wednesday as it could win just one of three mayoral positions, for which elections were held on December 27. protests against the three agricultural laws of the central government and several of the 41 farmer unions are state-owned.
As the BJP struggled to win in Panchkula, Congress and the Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJCP) won mayoral positions in Sonipat and Ambala respectively.
It was for the first time that direct elections were held for the post of mayor in the three cities.