The Bharatiya Janata Party has won stunning election victories in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, a personal triumph for Prime Minister Narendra Modi that could now ensure his party’s near-domination of politics in India.
The BJP registered the biggest-ever victory by any political party in Uttar Pradesh since Indira Gandhi led the Congress to 309 seats in 1980 before the state was divided.
The results routed the Samajwadi Party-Congress alliance, as well as the Bahujan Samaj Party, once a dominant power in a state where the BJP last ruled in 2002. The BJP wrested Uttarakhand from the Congress. The two were neck-and-neck in Manipur and Goa, where smaller parties will now hold the balance of power.
Catch live updates from the day after the assembly election results were announced:
9.55pm: Venkaiah Naidu and Bhupendra Yadav are observers for Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Tomar and Saroj Pandey observers for Uttarakhand. Piyush Goyal and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe are observers for Manipur, says union minister JP Nadda, during a press conference in Delhi, following the BJP’s parliamentary board meet.
“Amit Shah has been authorised by the parliamentary board to make the final decision (of who will become CMs) after observers submit their respective reports.”
9.45pm: Sources say the lone All India Trinamool Congress legislator T Robindro Singh has also extended support to the BJP coalition in Manipur.
Despite coming second with just 21 seats—BJP managed to get support of 4 MLAs each from NPF and NPP and also from the lone Lok Janshakti Party legislator Karam Shyam.
9.12pm: Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari confirms Manohar Parrikar as the BJP’s chief minister candidate in Goa. He also said the BJP has staked claim to form the government with the support of MGP, GFP and others
9.00pm: Meanwhile, in Manipur, BJP MLAs and its supporting MLAs meet Governor Najma Heptulla
8.35pm: “Definitely, it was difficult as it was a new department but I am happy that no corruption allegations were levelled against our government,” says Parrikar on heading the defence ministry. When asked about what he regards as achievements, he lists, “boosting morale, better procurement.”
8.25pm: Congress MLA Shyamkumar Singh from Andro assembly constituency, Manipur defects from Congress; joins BJP, reports ANI.
8.20pm: Parrikar begins speaking, thanks Gadkari for coming to Goa in such short notice. He also thanks BJP leaders for “showing trust” in him.
“This is a mandate given by the people, though we fell short of majority. Together we have reached the magic figure of 21. We met the Governor, expecting an invitation.Once we receive it,we will consult our colleagues and decide the date for swearing in,” says Parrikar.
Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward party says: “We will be watchdogs. Our party colleagues have reservations about this tie-up. But in political life there are some hard choices. We will not betray the cause of the party. Eventually everyone will be happy and everyone will go forward.”
8.10pm: Union minister Nitin Gadkari begins press conference in Goa on formation of government. “I’ve been told by other parties that they will extend support to BJP only if Parrikar becomes the chief minister of the state.”
“Parrikar has no resigned as the defence minister yet. The BJP Parliamentary Board has agreed to allow Parrikar to resign but there is a procedure that needs to be followed first.”
“If Goa needs it, Parrikar says he’s ready to resign as defence minister. We are in talks with independent MLAs and other parties and respect their wishes for a stable government.”
8.00pm: Similar series of events unfold in Manipur as the BJP, with other allies, seek an appointment with the state governor to stake claim to form the government. The National People’s Party has now extended support to the BJP, enabling it to reach the 31-seat-mark in the 60-member assembly.
The BJP won 21 seats in the assembly elections in Manipur. It has already been promised support by the Naga People’s Front which has four seats, the Lok Janshakti Party (one) and one Independent.
The NPP won four seats in the recent assembly elections.
7.50pm: Manohar Parrikar tells ANI that he has not resigned from his post as defence minister.
7.30pm: Meanwhile, Sudin Dhavalikar of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party extends support to the BJP, with the three seats that his party won. He dismisses allegations of ‘horse-trading’.
A self-described “Chanakya” of Goa politics, Dhavalikar has been part of every state government, be it led by the BJP or the Congress, since 1998.
Vijai Sardesai of the Goa Forward party has also pledged support to BJP, saying his party has a nationalistic agenda and that this is the options that would bring stability and development in the state. His party holds three seats.
The BJP state high command in Goa has left for the governor’s house with the support of both the Goa Forward and the MGP.
7.20pm: “Ours is a government for everyone,” says Modi. He thanks Amit Shah and those who campaigned in the five states and concludes his address with chants of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mantaram’.
7.15pm: “We aim to take 125 crore Indians together in our efforts towards building a new India,” says Modi. “Want to assure the people in the 5 states that we leave no stones unturned to fulfill your aspirations.”
“In 2022, we mark 75 years of Independence, which will be a landmark moment for the nation.”
“I had said that we are new, have less experience and can make mistakes, but won’t do anything with wrong intentions.”
“I am happy that people ask me: ‘why do you work so much?’”
7.10pm: “Through the membership drive, the BJP has been able to become the largest political party in the world.”
“We have never got anything for free or easily. And we do not have any regrets. We are ones who have always been working for people,” says Modi.
“I am not someone who looks at things only from an election perspective. I look at the well-being of the people.”
7.00pm: “The poor are saying: ‘I want to progress and I seek the opportunity from you’. This is the foundation of a new India,” says PM Modi to supporters.
“With these wins we have the responsibility of being humble. Power is not about posts. Power is an opportunity to serve.”
“Generations of individuals have given their lives to build this party. They travelled all over India to make the party strong. These elections are an emotional issue for us. They come when we mark the centenary celebrations of Pandit Deen Dayal Ji.”
“Antyodaya is integral to our work. We understand the strength of India’s poor. The burden on the middle class should reduce. This will enable our middle classes to shine.The strength of the poor and the aspirations of the middle class will take India to new heights,” says Modi.
6.45pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins speaking by wishing everyone a happy Holi. Chorus of ‘Modi, Modi’ from his supporters greets him.
“There are many reasons for a win but such an empathetic win after such a record turnout is special and makes everyone think. Elections empower people to participate in nation-building,” says Modi. “It is a positive sign for democracy to see people coming out in large numbers to exercise their franchise.”
“A new India is emerging,” says the PM. “It is a new India which encapsulates the aspirations of women. A new India that is about opportunities for the poor. ....the India of the dreams of India’s Yuva Shakti.”
6.35pm: BJP leaders including Rajnath Singh, Amit Shah felicitate Modi on stage, PM to speak shortly. Amit Shah now addressing supporters who have gathered outside the party headquarters. He wishes everyone a happy Holi and calls this year’s festive season an auspicious time for country and party.
“The mandate given by the people this time, is two steps ahead of the 2014 election mandate,” says Amit Shah. He talks about the “unprecedented” wins the party managed in both Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. “It is BJP’s pro-poor policies that helped us win elections.”
He talks about demonetisation and how the poor have followed Modi and the party’s vision for development.
6.30pm: PM Modi offers tribute to Deendayal Upadhyay at BJP headquarters.
6.23pm: PM Modi walks the last stretch to BJP’s headquarters at Ashoka Road in Delhi:
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reach headquarters to celebrate the BJP’s win.
5.45pm: Reports now coming in that BJP MLA Pramod Sawant says the party has received letters of support from MGP and two independent MLAs in Goa and that the party is now confident of forming the government.
Meanwhile, in Manipur, BJP seeks appointment with state governor Najma Heptulla.
5.30pm: With the BJP needing eight seats to reach the magic figure of 21, and the Congress four short of a majority, smaller parties and independents now hold the key to government formation in Goa.
Here is the list of possible kingmakers.
5.15pm: Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav defends his son Akhilesh Yadav after the party’s loss in Uttar Pradesh elections, saying “no one person is responsible for the defeat”.
5.00pm: Digvijay Singh now accuses BJP of “horse-trading” to reach the majority mark.
“The BJP has been involved in horse-trading, promising sums, ministries, corporations and SUVs to the non-BJP MLAs to get their support,” Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh alleged.
“I have never seen in any other state where a political party which has been rejected outright, where the CM has lost, six ministers have lost, yet they are staking claim to form the government,” he told reporters in Panaji.
4.45pm: The Naga People’s Front has reiterated that they will support any non-Congress party to form a new government in Manipur. The Naga People’s Front bagged four seats yesterday in Manipur elections, which threw up a hung assembly with the ruling Congress bagging 28 of the 60 seats and the BJP making giant strides to muster 21.
“We are an alliance of NDA and therefore we will support the North East Democratic Alliance, which comprises non-Congress parties even in Manipur,” NPF spokesperson Achumbemo Kikon said.
4.35pm: Meeting of Congress MLAs begins to discuss the head of the legislature in Goa; meeting headed by Congress leader Digvijay Singh, reports ANI.
4.00pm: BJP supporters throng outside the party’s headquarters at Ashoka Road in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow is expected to begin shortly.
3.50pm: Congress’ Amarinder Singh says he has met the Punjab governor and staked claim to form the government in the state. March 16 has been fixed as the date of swearing in.
Talking to media outside Punjab Raj Bhawan here today, he said that he will go to Delhi on March 14 to meet Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi and discuss formation of the new government.
3.00pm: Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala alleges that the BJP is “misusing CISF and airport authorities to detain and abduct Independent MLA Asabuddin at Imphal airport.” He says the MLA was taken to Calcutta. “Federalism & rule of law being murdered in broad daylight by Modi government,” tweets Surjewala.
2/n ModiGovt is playing a dangerous game of subverting democracy & abducting MLA's by misusing CISF at Imphal Airport despite electoral loss— Randeep S Surjewala (@rssurjewala) March 12, 2017
1.57pm: Manipur: Okram Ibobi Singh elected as leader of Congress legislature party.
1.52pm: Parkash Singh Badal after tendering resignation: “Whatever they (Congress) will do will come in front of you.”
1.36pm: Congress spokesperson Digvijaya Singh: “We are in touch with non-BJP MLAs, we are confident we have numbers on our side (in Goa)...Is this a party of morals? They have been defeated and doing horse-trading, promising ministries like distributing sweets... Go ahead if you (BJP) have support of more than 21, we are ready to sit in the Opposition but it is a coup against people’s mandate.”
1.12pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may lead celebration procession from Le Meridien hotel to BJP headquarters in Delhi ahead of parliamentary board meet.
1.06pm: The party’s legislature wing has decided that he (Manohar Parrikar) should head the legislature wing as CM candidate for BJP: Michael Lobo, BJP.
12.47pm: Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) leader Sudin Dhavalikar tells Hindustan Times his party is ready to support a BJP-led government in Goa. While the BJP has 14 seats, the MGP has won three seats in this election, meaning that an MGP-BJP alliance would still fall four seats short of a majority.
“With the NDA in power till 2019, we feel a BJP-led government in Goa will be good for the state,” Dhavalikar said.
12.31pm: Yesterday, the Prime Minister talked to me. He said whatever you require for Punjab, I will be all willing to help.
12.25pm: No calculation can make the BJP get the magic figure. We request them to respect the democratic values of the country, says Congress.
12.22pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweets: “A new India is emerging, which is being powered by the strength & skills of 125 crore Indians. This India stands for development.”
12.20pm: No vendetta politics, no victimisation. If name comes in investigation, we will see: Amarinder Singh on if there will be action on Bikram Majithia
12.17pm: “I have already said two issues require immediate attention - one is health and one is education
If Punjab has to progress, it has to be through peace and stability
We will reform the police
Punjab’s security lies in secure and friendly relations with neighbours and that is what we want”
12.01pm: We are after the drug ‘chitta’ (cocaine). We will wipe it out in the state in for weeks: Amarinder Singh.
11.40am: Bihar CM Nitish Kumar congratulates BJP for UP and Uttarakhand victories, says rival parties ignored the fact that demonetisation gave satisfaction to poor. “I congratulate the Congress for its victory in Punjab. I also appreciate that the Congress turned out to be the largest party in Manipur and Goa elections,” says Kumar.
10.53am: “It was a big win (in constituency Jaswantnagar), other things will be reviewed. Victory and defeat are constants in politics,” says Samajwadi Party’s Shivpal Yadav
10.08am: “This is a victory of Modi ji’s leadership and pro-poor policies.The CM candidate for UP will be decided by the BJP’s parliamentary board,” says Keshav Prasad Maurya
7.46am: Not right, this is the world’s biggest democracy. She lost because of wrong policies must accept: Jaitley on Mayawati’s EVM tampering allegations.
7.42am: Was popular among people and correct from economic point of view, BJP was set to benefit: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on being asked whether demonetisation had an impact on election results
7.36am: It is a sign of change, shows that the country wants to walk with Modi Ji for development: Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on election results
7.20am: The BJP’s parliamentary board meeting to be held today. Meet to discuss chief ministers’ selection in states where the party has got majority to form the government. PM Modi to visit party headquarters.