The results of the 2021 Assembly Elections for the states of West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry turned out to hold some unexpected surprises, some landslide victories, and some new records being broken in political history. While Nandirgam kept people on the edge of their seats till the last minute, Kerala saw an incumbent government making history by being the first to be re-elected in 4 decades. Margins dropped as close to 1,700 votes between a sitting CM and her protege and as high as over 1 lakh for Assam's Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. However, what seemed amiss in the elections was the ability of the Congress party to cover a strong political ground across the 5 states and 1 UT.
In West Bengal, the Congress party had allied with CPI(M), CPI, and ISF to contest on all 292 seats. Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi had campaigned sparsely in Bengal to avoid being seen with Left leaders keeping the party's opposing political stance in Kerala in mind. Playing carefully, the Congress-Left-ISF decided that the grand-old party will contest on 92 seats, Left on 165 seats, and ISF 37 seats.
Even as Congress allied with the Left in its bid to end Mamata Banerjee's 10-year term and fight a slowly growing BJP in Bengal, it failed to bag even a single seat from the 92 it contested. While the BJP's influence grew from 3 seats to almost 76, it is likely to have expanded into the influence of the Left and Congress which had won 32 and 44 seats respectively in the 2016 State Elections.
Another state that is witnessing a diminishing influence of Congress is the north-eastern state of Assam. Once a stronghold of Congress stalwart Tarun Gogoi who had seen repeated terms as the CM since 2001, the state has now welcomed the BJP government for a second consecutive term.
The BJP won 86 seats in the 2016 assembly polls, a huge rise by 60 seats, as compared to the 26 seats in the 2011 assembly elections. The Congress won only 26 seats in the 2016 elections as against the 78 seats in 2011, a downfall of 52 seats. In the 2021 assembly polls, the Congress party's reach fell even further.
Even as it entered a grand 'Mahajot' alliance with BPF, AGM, AIUDF, API, CPI(M), RJD, and JPP this year, the party managed to solely secure only 29 seats. Moreover, Congress's Assam president Ripun Bora lost the seat of Gohpur from where he contested to BJP's sitting MLA Utpal Borah by a margin of 29,294 votes. He resigned shortly after the results were announced.
On the other hand, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and United People's Party, Liberal (UPPL) along with the BJP have comfortably crossed the halfway mark of 75 to form the next government.
Eyes were on the 2021 Puducherry elections which were being held shortly after a political crisis struck the Congress government in the state. Jolted with a successive resignation of its leaders across its party and its alliance DMK, the V Narayanasamy government fell in the run-up to the elections.
Even after allying with Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) and Communist Party of India (CPI), the Congress party failed to cross the halfway mark in the 30-seat assembly by winning only 14 seats together.
Individually, the Congress party was reduced to just 2 seats in the UT. The NDA alliance on the other hand comprising of All India NR Congress, BJP and AIADMK, won 16 seats.
Puducherry turned out to be a great surprise for the BJP which had no political ground in the UT back in 2016 where it had not even clinched a single seat as opposed to the 6 seats that it won this year. Outgoing Congress on the other hand has been reduced massively from the 15 seats in 2016 to just 2 seats in 2021.