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Flashback 2018: For the first time since 2014, 'saffron' shrinks

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New Delhi, Dec 23: The political map of India has suddenly changed. Before December 11, the day of the counting of votes in the elections to the legislative assemblies of five states (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizo Mizoram), saffron occupied the largest area in the map.

At its peak ─ that is, when the Bharatiya Janata Party wrested Tripura from the CPI(M) in March this year-the BJP, either by itself or as part of an alliance, ruled in 21 out of 29 Indian states.

Congress, the grand old party.

The saffron party's spectacular ascent in the country's politics had even emboldened Prime Minister Narendra Modi to popularise the arrogant slogan: 'Congress-mukt Bharat'. But after December 11, the saffron space in India's political map has shrunk considerably. In contrast, the Congress, which registered wins in three Hindi heartland states, is back on a revival path.

Left bastion crumbled against saffron onslaught

Left bastion crumbled against saffron onslaught

History was created when the first straight poll battle between the country's dominant Left party, the CPI-M, and the BJP saw the Marxist stronghold of Tripura crumble in the February 2018 assembly elections, after 25 years in power.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-IPFT (Indigenous People's Front of Tripura) coalition swept the polls, winning 44 seats in the 60-member assembly. The BJP alone secured 36 seats while the IPFT, a tribal-oriented party, won eight seats. The CPI-M won the remaining 16.

Before the 2018 polls, neither the BJP nor the IPFT had won a seat in the assembly and their vote share was less than two or three per cent. The 2018 polls were also a major setback for the Congress, which had ruled the state for 23 years (1959-1977 and 1988-1993). For the first time in 40 years, the key opposition party remained unrepresented in the assembly.

Coalition politics works for Congress in Karnataka

Coalition politics works for Congress in Karnataka

A high-octane assembly poll, a thrilling government formation exercise filled with nail biting twists and turns, and never-ending coalitionworries encapsulated 2018 in Karnataka. The state saw attempts at coming together of "like-minded secular parties" against the BJP-led NDA ahead of the Lok Sabha polls next year, with top

opposition leaders attending the swearing-in ceremony of the new Congress-JDS coalition chief minister H D Kumaraswamy.

After the elections threw up a hung assembly, the Congress and JDS stitched together a post-poll alliance to clinch power, days after the BJP, which emerged as the single largest party, failed to muster the numbers. Alleged attempts by the BJP to poach the ruling coalition. MLAs to destabilise the government and return to power added drama to the state political scene. The Karnataka government's efforts for a separate state flag and religious minority tag for the dominant Lingayat community got mired in controversies.

Congress takes back the helm from BJP in Rajasthan

Congress takes back the helm from BJP in Rajasthan

The Congress wrests Rajasthan from the BJP in the 2018 assembly polls. The Congress won 99 seats, BJP won 73 and BSP won 6 seats out of the

199 seats that went to polls. A minimum 101 seats are needed to form a government in the House of 200.

The party has lost ground in all 25 Lok Sabha constituencies. Past trends also show that the party that wins the assembly elections also wins a majority of the Lok Sabha seats.

MP cliffhanger ends with Congress just two short of majority

MP cliffhanger ends with Congress just two short of majority

The Congress, which was running neck and neck with the BJP in the Madhya Pradesh assembly election, ended up the single largest party with 114 seats, two short of a majority in the 230-member assembly.

The BJP won 109. Later, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BJP) and the Samajwadi Party on Wednesday extended support to the Congress. Both parties had almost the same vote share at around 41% and the difference of votes polled by the parties across the state was only 47,827.

Congress wins Chhattisgarh by a landslide

Congress wins Chhattisgarh by a landslide

The Congress staged a massive comeback in Chhattisgarh by winning/leading in 67 of the total 90 seats and wresting the state from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), showcasing its best sign of resurgence in the 2018 assembly elections.

The BJP was reduced to only 18 seats while the Janata Congress. Chhattisgarh Jogi-Bahujan Samaj Party (JCCJ-BSP) combine won seven, including that of former chief minister Ajit Jogi.

TRS strikes gold

TRS strikes gold

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi government won by a huge majority in the state Assembly elections on Tuesday, trouncing the Congress-led alliance. Caretaker Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's party won 88 seats out of 119, while the Congress managed just 19 seats, and the Telugu Desam Party two. The All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen won even seats, and the Bharatiya Janata Party only one.

Congress loses its last North-East outpost, trounced by MNF in Mizoram

Congress loses its last North-East outpost, trounced by MNF in Mizoram

The last outpost of the Congress in the North-East fell Tuesday when it was trounced in the Mizoram assembly polls as the Mizo National

Front (MNF) roared back to power after ten years.

The MNF led with 26 while the Zoram People's Movement (ZPM), an alliance of non-Congress, non-MNF parties formed last year, came a

surprise second, winning eight seats to become the principal Opposition party.

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