POLITICS

The BJP Now Has More MLAs Than Any Party Has Had In 24 Years

The Congress, meanwhile, has its lowest MLA count in its history.

21/03/2017 12:47 PM IST | Updated 21/03/2017 1:07 PM IST
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The BJP's nationwide dominance is unlike anything India has seen in its recent past. Numbers for state assemblies since Independence show that the BJP now has more MLAs nationwide than any one party has had in 25 years.


After its landslide win in Uttar Pradesh and strong showing in the Goa, Manipur and Uttarakhand assembly elections earlier this month, the BJP now has 1,382 MLAs across the country. The party first crossed the 1,000-MLA mark in 2014, and then, after a dip with the Bihar elections in 2015, grew in 2016 and 2017.


This is the largest number of MLAs a single party has had at the all-India level since 1993 when the Congress had 1,501 MLAs. The Congress, on the other hand, now has just 813 MLAs all-India, the lowest ever count in its history. In addition to poor results in most assembly elections, the party also lost virtually its entire party in Arunachal Pradesh to the BJP.

Data from 1967 to 2007 comes from the Jensenius Indian State Assembly Election dataset and for 2007 to 2014 from Gilles Verniers at the Trivedi Centre for Political Data. Data for the most recent years was compiled by HuffPost India from the Election Commission. The data does not take by-elections and President's rule into account; for the most part, the data also does not take post-election defections into account with the exception of Arunachal Pradesh in 2016-17.


The data shows that after its wins in Assam and Manipur, the BJP over the last two years breached the north-eastern part of the country, where it has so far had virtually no presence. The only other states where it has remained marginal over the years are Tamil Nadu, Kerala and West Bengal, but the party won its first seat in the latter two in their last elections. Tamil Nadu is now the only large state with no BJP MLA.

The Congress, which is now in power in only Karnataka, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Puducherry, and Bihar as part of the ruling alliance, finds itself lightly dispersed throughout the country, drawing a substantial number only from Karnataka (where it goes to polls in 2018) and Punjab, where it just formed government.

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