With losses in 3 important states, 2018 was PM Modi’s worst year electorally
New Delhi, Dec 30: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) poster boy ever since he stormed to the national stage in 2014. Electorally, Modi has been a leader with very little negative marks. Starting from the 2002 Assembly election, Modi has not lost too many elections in the last 16 years. However, the year 2018 was one of the worst in the man's political career as far as leading the BJP to electoral wins is concerned.
As many as nine states went to elections in the outgoing year and the BJP could wrest power in only one of them which is Tripura where they toppled decades-long Left rule. It is also in power in Nagaland but with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party as the junior partner. It also outsmarted the Congress in Meghalaya to join the government led by the National People's Party even with just two legislators as against the Grand Old Party's 21.
On the other side, it was in power in three states at the start of the year and was looking to add another big one to its kitty in the form of Karnataka. But it could not retain any of the three states it had: Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and neither could win Karnataka. Its opponent Congress is now in power in four states, including the coalition in Karnataka, deferring the realisation of the BJP's "Congress-Mukt Bharat" to some unknown date.
Losing three states in a year made 2018 the worst for Modi even though the BJP made gains in three small states in the north-east which are Tripura, Meghalaya and Nagaland. It could not add any new state to its kitty -- whether it is Telangana or Mizoram. The previous worst year for PM Modi electorally was in 2015 when the BJP lost two prestige battles in Delhi (against Arvind Kejriwal) and Bihar (against the former alliance of Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad).
In 2016 too, the BJP lost to regional parties like Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu and the Left in Kerala but it managed to win Assam by toppling the Congress. The years 2014 and 2017 were of tremendous success for the BJP as they won in several states like Maharashtra, Haryana, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir (in 2014) and UP, Uttarakhand, Goa, Manipur, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat (in 2017), losing just Punjab where it was in power.