Congress reviving? What the 2024 vote suggests

One can’t quite say in terms of vote share that the people want Congress again, but in terms of seats across the country, they do, of course

author-image
Surajit Dasgupta
Updated On
New Update
Listen to this article
0.75x 1x 1.5x
00:00 / 00:00

Is the Indian National Congress (INC) reviving? At The Squirrels, we have already said a diminishing BSP and listless Mayawati might have helped Congress revival in Uttar Pradesh. But let’s look at the facts and figures once again before we move on to the revival story even in places that do not have the BSP.

Congress in Uttar Pradesh

BSP might not have won any seat in Uttar Pradesh, but in 16 seats, it got more votes than the winning margin of the BJP or its ally. Facts from a few of these constituencies now.

In Nagina, the seat from where Mayawati contested her first election, the BSP got 13,272 votes. The winner Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan received 5,12,552 votes. BSP’s national vote share now stands at 2.07%, about half of its 2019 score of 3.67%. 

Within UP, it dropped from 19.2% in 2019 to 9.3% — less than half. In the 2022 assembly election, the BSP had cornered 12.88% of votes, winning one seat.

Making the BSP a yardstick for measuring the successes and failures of other parties, reserved seats deserve a focussed look, as the Scheduled Castes are supposed to be Mayawati's core constituency.

Reserved seats in UP: 17

  1. Nagina
  2. Bulandshahr
  3. Hathras
  4. Agra
  5. Shahjahanpur
  6. Hardoi
  7. Misrikh
  8. Etawah
  9. Bahraich
  10. Mohanlalganj
  11. Jalaun
  12. Kaushambi
  13. Barabanki
  14. Lalganj
  15. Machhlishahr
  16. Bansgaon
  17. Robertsganj

Winners

BJP: 8

  1. Bulandshahr
  2. Hathras
  3. Agra
  4. Shahjahanpur
  5. Hardoi
  6. Misrikh
  7. Bansgaon
  8. Bahraich

I.N.D.I.A.: 9

SP 7

  1. Robertsganj
  2. Machhlishahr
  3. Lalganj
  4. Kaushambi
  5. Jalaun
  6. Mohanlalganj
  7. Etawah

INC 1

Barabanki

ASP 1

Nagina

Consider how the BJP has fallen since 2014. In 2019, BJP won 14 out of 17 of these seats. BSP won Nagina and Lalganj. BJP’s ally Apna Dal won Robertsganj.

That was a little slump from 2014 when BJP had won all 17 reserved seats.

Vote share tells a different story

Now, we come to the INC revival story. We will first find out whether the Lok Sabha 2024 results can be seen as the revival of the INC. 

According to PL Punia (INC), who was elected MP from Barabanki Lok Sabha constituency in 2009, it is a grand revival. His son Tanuj Punia, once close to Mayawati, defeated BJP candidate Rajrani Rawat by 2,15,704 votes in Barabanki this time. But that’s just one seat.

It would be hypothetical to discuss how well the Congress would have fared in Uttar Pradesh if seat-sharing by the INDIA had left it with more seats to contest from. So, let's move to a state where the INC is a bigger player than any other opposition party.

The Congress has won two reserved seats in Rajasthan.

Bharatpur 

Sanjna Jatav of the INC defeated BJP’s Ramswaroop Koli by 51,983 votes.

In 2019, Ranjeeta Koli (BJP) had won this seat with 7,01,293 votes or 61.62% vote share.

In the 2014 election, Bahadur Singh Koli (BJP) had won with 5,77,863 votes or 60.38% vote share.

In the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Ratan Singh of the INC had a vote share of 53.73%.

Karauli-Dholpur 

Bhajan Lal Jatav (INC) won, defeating BJP candidate Indu Devi by 98,945 votes. Here, 10.01% more voters voted for the Congress than the BJP.

Manoj Rajoria of the BJP had won this seat in both 2019 and 2014 while Khiladi Lal Bairwa of the INC had won it in 2009.

In 2019, the BJP’s vote share (52.69%) was almost 10% higher than the INC’s Sanjay Kumar (42.96%).

In 2014, the same candidate had got 47.57% of the votes, about 3% more votes than his nearest rival, the INC’s Lakkhiram (44.35%).

Conclusion

We get back to the question: Is Congress reviving? In terms of seats, sure! In terms of vote share, hardly! From 44 seats to 99 seats is a revival, of course! BJP’s seats went down from 303 to 240. Almost all 63 seats lost were from Maharashtra (23) and UP (30).

But with the help of 25 opposition parties, the INC increased its vote share by 1.55% (19.67% to 21.22%) and cut BJP’s vote share by 1.22% (37.7% to 36.58%).

 

In Kerala, while the BJP won 1 Lok Sabha seat and partially increased its vote share from 13% in 2019 to around 17% in 2024, there is no visible jump in the INC’s vote share.

In Karnataka, the INC vote share jumped by 14% since 2019. And this and Telangana are exceptions. Bharat Rashtra Samithi’s votes moved to the INC, which got 10% more votes than it did five years ago.

In neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, YSRCP fell (from 50% to 40%), and yet this did not benefit the INC.

In Tamil Nadu, the vote share figures are more or less static.

So, finally, we can’t quite say in terms of vote share that the people want Congress again, but in terms of seats, they do, of course.

uttar pradesh bsp mayawati Congress Tamil Nadu rajasthan Andhra Pradesh Telangana Scheduled Castes Karnataka Kerala