Amit Shah
Amit ShahIANS

Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah reportedly said on Friday that the verdict of the 2016 Assembly elections in four states and a Union Territory has shown the party has laid a "firm foundation for the 2019 national elections." After the results were announced on Thursday, he had also said the people of the country has "accepted" and "appreciated" its ideology and Prime Minister Narendra Modi's performance.

Shah also hit out at its rival Congress claiming the BJP is heading towards a "Congress-mukt Bharat". "It is a matter of great joy for BJP that it has performed well in all five states. People have accepted BJP in all states. People who have paralysed Parliament have been shown their place. India has walked two steps closer towards a Congress-mukt Bharat," NDTV quoted Shah as saying.

However, the numbers show a picture that's quite different from what has been portaryed by Shah, if percentages of vote share of the two parties from the Assembly elections in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections are compared.

While Shah is claiming to have succeeded in bringing down the Congress, the numbers show a growth in Congress vote share in all the states, but one. Moreover, the percentage for the BJP has instead come down in this year's Assembly elections as compared to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

The Congress has seen a rise in percentage of vote share in Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and the only state where its numbers dropped was in Kerala. On the other hand, the BJP has seen a major slump in three states. In Kerala it managed to get 0.2 percent more votes in the Assembly elections as compared to the Lok Sabha election. [Refer to the table below]

Although the BJP made a debut in the Northeast state Assam, the percentage of vote share has declined from 36.5 in the general elections to 29.5 in the Assembly elections.

States Party – Congress (Vote Share %) Party – BJP (Vote Share %)
2014 General Elections 2016 Assembly Elections 2014 General Elections 2016 Assembly Elections
Assam 29.6 31 36.5 29.5
West Bengal 9.58 12.3 16.8 10.2
Tamil Nadu 4.3 6.4 5.5 2.8
Kerala 31.3 23.7 10.3 10.5
Puducherry 26.35 30.6 NA 2.4

The conclusion that can be drawn after analysing the numbers from the last two elections is that the Congress is slowly reviving after the major setback in the general elections while the BJP is suffering a downfall, which can be partially blamed on several controversies, including those revolving around beef ban, and protests in universities and institutes— Jawaharlal Nehru University, Hyderabad University, NIT Srinagar and Film & Television Institute. The BJP is now eyeing a victory in Uttar Pradesh, where it had lost power to Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party in 2002.

In the Assembly elections this year, both Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee retained power in their states. While the Congress lost power in Kerala to the Left Democratic Front, it managed a victory in Puducherry in alliance with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).