From 52 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress comes a long way in 2024 | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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From 52 seats in 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress comes a long way in 2024

Jun 04, 2024 12:56 PM IST

The Congress, with a bunch of allies, has decimated the BJP’s claim of ‘400 paar’, dented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral invincibility and developed INDIA alliance a force to reckon with

From 52 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the Congress has come a long way to 98 seats (as of now) in 2024. Even as the party stares at another five years in the Opposition benches, “some defeats are more important than victories,” said a senior Congress leader.

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (middle) with senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi (left)and Rahul Gandhi (right) during the release of the party’s manifesto ahead of the Lok Sabha elections on April 5 . (PTI File Photo)
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge (middle) with senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi (left)and Rahul Gandhi (right) during the release of the party’s manifesto ahead of the Lok Sabha elections on April 5 . (PTI File Photo)

With a bunch of allies, the Congress has decimated the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s claim of ‘400 paar’, dented Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s electoral invincibility and developed INDIA alliance a force to reckon with.

“Trends for all 543 seats are now available. The following has become clear: 1. It will be a staggering political and decisively moral defeat for Mr. Narendra Modi. 2. The exit polls that he orchestrated have been completely exposed for what they were--a total sham,” tweeted Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.

To be sure, this will be the second time the Congress gets defeated for three Lok Sabha elections in a row. In 1996, 1998 and 1999 the Congress lost three national polls. But the Congress-led INDIA group’s achievement to bring the BJP to less than 250 seats and restrict the NDA to 297 seats (as of now) as against the Prime Minister’s tall claims of 370 seat for the BJP and 400 for NDA eclipses the overall performance of the Opposition group.

“This is not the fairy tale of 2004 when the Congress-led UPA came to power defeating mighty BJP,” said a senior Congress leader, “but this result is perhaps more valuable. For, this election has exposed the vulnerability of Modi and the BJP. Also, this election partially restores democratic values.”

The Congress is all set to get the Leader of the Opposition’s post in the Lok Sabha, a much-needed recognition of the strength of the principal Opposition party. And with 98 seats, the Congress will consolidate its position as the leader of the INDIA bloc.

The principal opposition party had banked on three factors to fight this prestige battle: the formation of INDIA bloc that had more than 30 small and big parties, its manifesto promising a slew of sops as well as appealing to caste groups and its sustained campaign to save the Constitution to safeguard the reservation.

“The Congress’ campaign worked really well. But its task is not over yet,” said Kolkata-based political analyst Suman Chattopadhyay, “Now the Congress needs to ensure that this INDIA bloc continues to work together for the future elections and acts like a political platform against Modi.”

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