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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Biggest shockers to come out of the thrilling election results

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Biggest shockers to come out of the thrilling election results
Laapata Ladies, Bridgerton and Heeramandi might have dominated the OTT cycle last month, but none of these dramas can hold a candle to the absolute thriller that unfolded during the Lok Sabha election cycle this year. While the parties scramble to decide their allegiances, most people are already convinced about a result familiar to the previous two general elections: Modi 3.0.

However, the road to the end has proven anything but a bed of lotuses for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Despite staunch optimism of winning 400 out of 543 seats, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) managed to capture only 293 — a margin barely above the 272 seats majority, and dozens below their 2014 and 2019 standings.

Then came the fact that the BJP, with only 240 seats won, would have to be supported by two major partner parties: the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Janata Dal (United), if they wished to finalise a majority and form the next Lok Sabha. This meant that the ball currently remains in the courts of these two quintessential “Kingmakers”; will they keep their pre-poll promises to ensure the continuity of Mr Modi, or usurp him by joining the opposition INDIA bloc?

This mystery may linger not just this week, but throughout the term of the next government given the fickle nature of the Indian political system.

As we move into the final few legs of this political marathon, the story has only taken a turn for the juicier. According to media reports, INDIA has now offered the position of Deputy Prime Minister to JD(U) Nitish Kumar and a special status to Andhra Pradesh (with TDP majority) if the parties align with the alliance and forsake their NDA partnership. If they agree, the INDIA-TDP-JD(U) coalition could overthrow BJP-NDA to form the government, making for the biggest political plot twist in decades.

While we wait for the historical gavel to drop, let’s take a look back at the other bombshells to have come out of the tallying process so far.
BJP falls short of majority
Despite battle cries of ‘Abki baar 400 par’, the Modi-led party has failed to cross the required 272 seats necessary for a clear majority and stands far below their performances in 2014 and 2019. They are no longer self-sufficient enough to make a third term without the support from allies.
BJP loses ground in Hindi Heartland
The northern states, which constitute a large section of the Hindi-speaking population, have been considered BJP’s biggest loyalists. Despite this, the party has faced unexpected stiff competition in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Haryana. These are crucial states for the BJP, as they hold a large number of seats and losing a majority of these seats has weakened their moral position. While some blame the loss on the anger of dominant castes in the region, others say that the party ignored these stronghold regions in pursuit of expansion to the east and south.
NDA wins below 300 seats, far below landslide 400 predictions
Not only has BJP itself been unable to capture the required majority, their NDA coalition hasn’t even touched 300 Lok Sabha seats. This indicates a significant loss of public support compared to predictions.
BJP loses Ram Temple Constituency
Construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya has been one of BJP’s most prominent election promises in the past two elections. Despite delivering on this front, the party has lost the Faizabad seat to Samajwadi Party candidate Awadhesh Prasad.
Lotus blooms down south
BJP opened its account for the first time in Kerala with a win for actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi at the Thrissur seat. In Telangana, both BJP and Congress put up a strong performance by winning eight seats each and sidelining the regional parties. However, for the BJP, Tamil Nadu was a disappointment as it failed to win even one seat despite immense push from all quarters. The party did manage to increase the vote share to double digits despite a lack of support from the regional parties.
BJP wins all Delhi seats
Making a hat-trick, the BJP won all seven Lok Sabha seats in Delhi for the third time, beating the Congress-AAP alliance.

Individual/Regional Politics

Rahul Gandhi wins two seats
After a risky contest for two seats in Kerala’s Wayanad and Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli, the Congress leader has won both by a massive margin.
Kangana Ranaut wins Himachal seat
The celebrity candidate’s debut resulted in a strong win for the Mandi seat for BJP.
Smriti Irani loses
Despite high expectations, Smriti Irani loses the Amethi seat by a large margin to Congress’ Kishori Lal Sharma. This is a high-profile defeat for a key BJP figure.
Shashi Tharoor faces a brief hiccup
Earlier trends had briefly indicated trouble for the recurrent Thiruvananthapuram MP. However, the tides turned quickly, handing Tharoor the win over Rajeev Chandrasekhar.
Former cricketer Yusuf Pathan wins
Stepping up to politics for the first time, cricketer turned politician Yusuf Pathan won West Bengal’s Baharampur seat for the Trinamool Congress.
Jailed pro-Khalistani candidate victorious in Punjab
Amritpal Singh, a notable Khalistan supporter and independent candidate clinched the Khadoor Sahib seat from jail in Punjab.
Sexual assault-accused Prajwal Revanna pulls considerable vote share
Despite a final win by Congress candidate Shreyas M. Patel in Karnataka’s Hassan constituency, JD(U)’s Prajwal Revanna garnered 46.5% of the total votes. This has occurred despite being in police custody and having a massive sexual assault case lodged against the candidate.

Other notable events

Indore sets record for highest NOTA voters
Controversy had earlier erupted in Indore after Congress candidate Akshya Kanti Bam deferred to BJP shortly before the voting process had begun. In response, over 2 lakh voters placed their bets on ‘None of the Above’, expressing dissatisfaction with the choices presented to them.
Stock market falls by COVID-19 levels
Anticipating an easy win and stable third term for Modi, the Indian stock surged right before the election. However, government uncertainty later on spurred the Nifty and BSE Sensex indices to crash by as much as 8.5%.

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