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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: BJP to contest more seats again, Congress to contest lowest since Independence

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: To put up a tough fight against the dominating National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP, the Congress adopted a realistic approach by not fielding too many candidates as its winning ratio has not been so encouraging in the last two Lok Sabha elections.

Written By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 New Delhi Updated on: April 15, 2024 18:01 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul
Image Source : PTI/FILE Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi

The Lok Sabha Elections 2024 are significant not only because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is aiming to surpass the record set by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, of winning three straight Lok Sabha elections, but also because of certain statistics that show the BJP's growing political power under PM Modi's leadership and the Congress party's continued decline, despite Rahul Gandhi's efforts to reverse this trend by initiating the Bharat Jodo Yatra and Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has declared 424 candidates till now. It is likely to contest 446 seats with announcements pending for some seats of Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal and Ladakh. This is the sixth time when the saffron party fielded over 400 candidates in the Lok Sabha elections after 1991, 1996, 2009, 2014 and 2019 polls.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: State-wise candidates declared by BJP

The saffron party already declared candidates for 71 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 41 seats in West Bengal, 29 seats in Madhya Pradesh, 26 seats in Gujarat, 25 seats each in Rajasthan and Karnataka, 24 seats in Maharashtra, 23 seats in Tamil Nadu, 21 seats in Odisha, 17 seats each in Bihar and Telangana, 16 in Kerala, 13 in Jharkhand, 11 seats each in Assam and Chhattisgarh, 10 in Haryana, 7 in Delhi, 6 seats each in Andhra Pradesh and Punjab, 5 seats in Uttarakhand, 4 in Himachal Pradesh, 2 seats each in Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir and Tripura, one seat each in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Manipur, Sikkim, Mizoram and Puducherry.  

The party is likely to announce 22 more candidates including 7 seats in Punjab (Khadoor Sahib, Hoshiarpur, Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Firozpur, Bathinda and Sangrur), 6 seats in Maharashtra (Satara, Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg, Mumbai South, Mumbai North Central, Mumbai North West and Palghar), 4 in Uttar Pradesh (Deoria, Kaiserganj, Firozabad and Rae Bareli), 3 in Jammu and Kashmir (Anantnag-Rajouri, Srinagar and Baramulla) and one each in West Bengal (Diamond Harbour) and Ladakh.

Lok Sabha Elections 2024: State-wise candidates declared by Congress

The Indian National Congress (INC) has declared 280 candidates till now. It is likely to contest between 325 to 330 seats with announcements pending for some seats of Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Ladakh. The 'Grand Old Party', which previously contested on 421 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, would reach a new low even if it were to contest about 325 seats.

The Congress already declared candidates for 28 seats each in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh, 24 seats in Gujarat, 22 seats in Rajasthan, 17 in Odisha, 16 in Kerala, 15 seats each in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, 14 in Telangana, 13 seats each in West Bengal and Assam, 11 seats each in Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, 9 in Tamil Nadu, 6 seats each in Bihar and Punjab, 5 in Uttarakhand, 3 seats each in Delhi and Jharkhand, 2 seats each in Arunachal Pradesh, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, one seat each in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Chandigarh, Mizoram, Lakshadweep, Puducherry, Sikkim and Tripura. 

The party is likely to announce 50 more candidates including 12 seats in Andhra Pradesh, 9 seats in Haryana, 7 seats in Punjab, 4 seats in Jharkhand (Godda, Ranchi, Dhanbad and Palamau), 3 seats in Bihar (Paschim Champaran, Samastipur and Patna Sahib), 3 seats in Odisha (Sambalpur, Cuttack and Aska), 3 seats in Telangana (Hyderabad, Karimnagar and Khammam), 2 seats in Himachal Pradesh (Kangra and Hamirpur), 2 seats in Uttar Pradesh (Amethi and Rae Bareli), 2 seats in Maharashtra (Mumbai North Central and Mumbai North) and one in Ladakh. The party is likely to declare 2 or 3 more candidates for West Bengal after the seat-sharing arrangement with the Left Front.  

Number of seats contested by Congress party over the years

The Congress fielded 479 candidates in the first Lok Sabha polls in 1951-52, 490 in 1957, 488 in 1962, 516 in 1967, 441 in 1977, 492 in 1977, 492 in 1980, 491 in 1984 26, 510 in 1989, 487 in 1991, 529 in 1996, 477 in 1998, 453 in 1999, 417 in 2004, 440 in 2009, 464 in 2014 and 421 in 2019. 

Number of seats contested by BJP over the years

The BJP fielded 229 candidates in the 1984-1985 Lok Sabha polls, 225 in 1989, 477 in the 1991-92 polls, 471 in 1996, 388 in 1998, 339 in 1999, 364 in 2004, 433 in 2009, 428 in 2014 and 436 in 2019.

BJP vs Congress over the years

Indian politics entered coalition politics in the late 1990s. It all began in 1998 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Lal Krishna Advani, two BJP mainstays, formed and successfully led a coalition government under the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) umbrella. However, the Congress defeated the NDA in 2004 by forming a coalition government. From 2004 to 2014, the Congress led the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for two terms. With impressive electoral results since 2014, the NDA, led by Narendra Modi, has been in power. In the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Elections, the Congress party was forced to share more seats with its newly formed partners in the I.N.D.I.A. bloc as a result of the two consecutive defeats in 2014 and 2019. 

Also read: Lok Sabha elections 2024: Political scions 'safe bets' for Congress | Here's full list

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