Lok Sabha polls in South: Congress emerges largest party with over 40 seats, halts BJP southern push

While campaigning in Haveri Union Home Minister Amit Shah had exuded confidence that the BJP would outperform the Congress in South India.

ByNolan Patrick Pinto

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 7:00 AMUpdatedJun 05, 2024 | 7:04 AM

Congress and BJP in Lok Sabha polls results

The Congress is all set to emerge as the single largest party in South India with over 40 seats, including Lakshadweep.

The BJP comes in next with 29 seats, DMK is in third place with 22 seats, followed by TDP with 16 seats.

The Congress has bagged 14 seats in Kerala, nine seats in Karnataka, and eight seats in Telangana. While the party didn’t secure any seats in Andhra Pradesh, it has secured six seats in Tamil Nadu and is leading in three seats in the state.

Additionally, Congress also won a single seat in the Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry.

In 2019, the Congress managed to secure only Bangalore Rural but lost the seat in this election. However, the party has gained nine other seats, leaving the BJP with only 17 seats from their previous 25. The Congress banked heavily on the five guarantee schemes it launched in the state.

In Kerala, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) has swept 14 out of the 20 seats in the state, winning more than 47 per cent of the total polled votes, which has halted the saffron party’s southern push.

PM Modi’s mega south strategy was expected to help the BJP make significant gains in the region. Even exit polls by organisations of national repute predicted a win for the saffron party. It was expected that the regular visits by BJP national leaders would increase the BJP’s vote share in these states.

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BJP’s hope and plan

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, while campaigning in Haveri, exuded confidence saying that the BJP would outperform the Congress in the five southern states.

In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP had won 21 seats in the south. They won 19 in 2009, 18 in 1999 and 2004 elections respectively, and 20 in 1998. But the number of seats won by the saffron party remained below seven in the elections before that.

The southern states of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu along with the Union Territories of Puducherry and Lakshadweep account for 131 seats in the Lok Sabha.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP did not open its account in southern states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. This time around, they did manage to win their first seat in Thrissur, Kerala.

Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh, the party has won 3 seats, compared to zero seats in 2019. In Telangana, their numbers went up to eight from their 2019 tally of four.

The BJP was looking forward to opening their account in Tamil Nadu and much was expected from their state chief K Annamalai, who contested from Coimbatore.

The BJP in 2019 had allied with AIADMK but lost to the DMK-Congress combine, which won 38 of the state’s 39 seats. AIADMK’s P Ravindhranath won in Theni. The BJP had contested only in five seats.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, on 15 May, had said that polling held so far indicated the BJP had been wiped out of South India and reduced to half in the rest of the country. He had said, “It has become clear that BJP is going to be wiped out in South India and will be reduced to half in North India.”

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(Edited by Neena)