With the declaration of Jharkhand and J&K Assembly polls results, the last round of elections for 2014 came to an end on Tuesday. The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), undoubtedly, came out to be the overall winner of the year.
The party which emerged out as a single largest party in the Lok Sabha elections further went on to register a comfortable victory in Haryana and Maharashtra Assembly elections. The BJP's juggernaut doesn't stop there, the saffron party continued with its winning streak in Jharkhand and J&K Assembly polls. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah, the BJP emerged as the biggest party in terms of vote share in J&K and won majority in Jharkhand.
Here are five messages that have emanated out of the verdict in the two States:
BJP is the biggest gainer
In Jharkhand, the BJP along with its pre-poll ally, the All Jharkhand Students Union, managed to get majority and is poised to form first politically stable government in the State in its 14-year long history.
The BJP-AJSU party alliance won 42 seats in the Jharkhand Assembly.
In Jammu and Kashmir, though the party fell short of its self-professed Mission 44, it came a close second to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). By getting highest vote share of 23 per cent, the saffron party is in commanding position in the State where it can rule either in alliance with PDP or NC or could sit in Opposition. The BJP bagged 25 seats, just three behind PDP.
Modi factor continues to resonate across States
It seems Prime Minister Narendra Modi's magic is still on and hasn't lost its charm as the critics say. The verdict shows that Modi continues to be the electoral flavour of the season. The Congress-led Opposition may be levelling number of allegations on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his team, but the Assembly results show that Modi allure is very much alive and people want to give his team a chance.
Congress is shrinking
And, the downfall of country's grand old party is still going on. After suffering its worst ever defeat in the Lok Sabha polls-it was reduced to 44 seats, leaving it well short of claiming the leader of the opposition post-the Congress was voted out of power in Maharashtra and Haryana and now, it faced a humiliating defeat in Jharkhand and J&K Assembly polls too. In Jharkhand, party's seats came down from 17 to 12 and in J&K, from 10 to 6. In the outgoing assemblies in these two States, the party was an ally of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha in Jharkhand and of the National Conference Government in Jammu and Kashmir.
Going by the recent trends, the 125-year-old party is at risk of being reduced to a regional force.
The verdict has put a big question mark on the fate of the Congress, which is shrinking since its rout in Lok Sabha election. Its leadership is in complete mess. Party is in moribund state and no one is doing anything to resuscitate it.
Former Chief Ministers voted out
Three-time Jharkhand Chief Minister and BJP Jharkhand heavyweight leader Arjun Munda lost the election from his pocket borough Kharasawan seat by over 11,000 votes to his JMM rival Dashrath Gagrai. Munda, Chief Minister from March 18, 2003 to March 2, 2005, again from March 12, 2005 to September 14, 2006 and from September 11, 2010 to January 18, 2013, was polled 60,036 votes while Gagrai secured 72,002.
JVM(P) president and Jharkhand's first chief minister Babulal Marandi lost from both the two seats he contested---Dhanwar and Giridih. Marandi lost the Dhanwar seat to CPI (Marxist-Leninist- Liberation) candidate Raj Kumar Yadav by over 10,000 votes. In the Giridih seat, Marandi came third.
Another former chief minister and JBSP chief Madhu Koda lost from the Majhganon seat to his JMM rival Niral Purty by over 11,000 votes.
The decision to contest at two seats by JMM leader Hemant Soren, who resigned from the post of Chief Minister on Tuesday, turned out to be wise as he lost from Dumka and won from Barhait.
Also, outgoing J&K Chief Minister and ruling National Conference (NC) working president, Omar Abdullah, also lost Assembly polls from his home constituency Sonawar but he managed to win from Beerwah in central Budgam district.
BJP needs to improve its image among Muslims
The BJP might have emerged out a big winner in Jammu & Kashmir elections but what is alarming is the fact that out of 31 of its Muslim candidates only one managed to win.
In a bid to shun its "saffron party" image, BJP fielded 31 Muslim candidates and most of them contested polls from Kashmir Valley. Not only its candidates lost the election but also lost their security deposits.
Predictably, BJP's gains in J&K came solely from the Hindu-dominated Jammu region. In the valley it got just 2.2%.