Congress see worst scenario realised
The Indian National Congress (INC), the governing party of India, saw the worst possible scenario results in the five state elections which have taken place over the past two months.
Of the five states, Congress were able to hold on to Manipur only. They lost Goa to the main national opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and failed to make much progress in the massive state of Uttar Pradesh where Rahul Gandhi had gambled his future career.
In Uttar Pradesh, the largest of the five states, Congress were in fourth place with 38 seats, an increase of 16 seats on the 2007 elections, they had hoped to take around 100 seats with Rahul Gandhi spending much of his time campaigning in the state.
Uttar Pradesh also proved to be a bad result for the charismatic and larger than life Mayawati who saw her Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) lose control of the state with the number of seats reduced from 206 in 2007 to just 80 in the 2012 polls. The big winner in Uttar Pradesh was the Socialist Party or Samajwadi Party (SP) which took 224 seats to give them an overall majority and up from 97 seats in 2007. The SP was founded in 1992 and describes itself as a centrist party which believes in social populism and the third way.
In Manipur state, Congress managed to take 42 of the 60 seats in the legislative assembly, their only good news of the day, up from 30 seats in 2007.
In Uttarakhand neither Congress or the BJP had a clear majority. It was Congress who did marginally better, taking 32 seats, up from 21 seats in 2007, whilst the BJP dropped to 31 seats from 34 seats in 2007. Either party could form a government with the remaining parties and independents in this 70 seat chamber.
In Goa Congress dropped seven seats to win just nine seats in the 2012 election. The BJP rose to 21 seats from 16 seats in 2007 and now have a narrow control in the 40 seat assembly.
Finally in Punjab the Shiromani Akali Dal (Akali Dal) were the main winners. This Sikh party won 68 seats in the 117 seat assembly giving them a majority; in 2007 they hade taken 48 seats. The BJP were wiped out, losing all 19 seats, whilst Congress made a modest two gains on 2007, taking their 2012 tally to 46 seats.
The elections will be analysed and analysed again over the next few weeks, but the clear message is that Congress is on the rack for the remainder of the two years they have before the national general elections. They will have to demonstrate greater economic benefits to the country and clean up corruption, which has become a major issue. There is bound to be an inquest about the impact, or rather, failure to make impact by Rahul Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh.