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Lok Sabha Election 2024: The biggest winners including Chandrababu Naidu, Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi and more.. | India News – Times of India

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One of the fundamental rules of quantum mechanics states that reality doesn’t exist in a definitive state independent of observation. This doesn’t claim that reality happens because of mere observation, it just means that observation reveals a version of reality that is unique to the observer. It’s a lesson that pollsters, politicians, journalists, and anyone who is in the business of keeping track of votes in a democracy out to remember, to hold one’s horse till the fat lady sings.
Therefore, it’s always important to wait till the end of the match to see the real nature of perceived reality (a phrase coined by the venerable TOI columnist Jug Suraiya) as opposed to their imagined reality.
Elections aren’t fought on paper, and one shouldn’t jump the gun beforehand nor should they assume that the voter has already made his or her choice. These shockers are reminders of why one ought to wait for one’s analysis till the fat lady sings.
The Winners

Lok Sabha Elections

Assembly Elections

1) Chandrababu Naidu

If there’s one man who can be considered the MVP of the election, it has to be the Chandrababu Naidu who will be patting himself on the back for a series of wise decisions. Jailed by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the skill development scam case, he was released on October 31, 2024. Eight months later, he is perhaps the most important ally for BJP in the NDA, who are crossing the majority mark thanks to their alliance with TDP. Naidu played a pivotal part in stitching an alliance with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena and BJP. As part of the seat-sharing deal of the NDA partners, TDP was allocated 144 assembly seats and 17 Lok Sabha constituencies, while the BJP contested six Lok Sabha and 10 assembly seats. Jana Sena meanwhile contested two Lok Sabha and 21 assembly seats. In the Andhra assembly election, the TDP-led alliance is leading in 160 of the 175 seats. In the Lok Sabha, the alliance is leading in 21 of the 25 seats, making Naidu, who was part of the UPA alliance in 2019, one of the BJP’s most important allies right now.

2) Akhilesh Yadav

For two elections in a row, it seemed like that the BJP was unsurmountable in Uttar Pradesh. The received wisdom was that BJP would match their 2019 count, if not better thanks to the Ram Mandir inauguration. The final numbers suggest that it’s neck and neck between BJP and SP.
Akhilesh’s SP, the cornerstone of the INDI alliance in Uttar Pradesh is currently leading in 35 seats with the Congress leading in 7. The leitmotif of Indian politics has always stated that the road to Delhi is through Uttar Pradesh and NDA-3’s journey was certainly made more tumultuous by Akhilesh Yadav and SP. During the 2017 Assembly Elections, the unofficial anthem of the Congress-SP alliance was “UP ke ladke” and it might have taken six years for the it to materialise, but it looks like it finally did. If things hold, they might even better their performance from 2004.

3) Uddhav Thackeray

Maharashtra politics just hasn’t been the same since 2019, when Uddhav Thackeray and the Shiv Sena split with the BJP to join the MVA. It was the biggest breakup since The Beatles with major political upheavals. Since then, Uddhav Thackeray has built his own personal brand which is quite antithetical to his father’s fire-and-brimstone personality, with many praising his calm handling of the Covid-19 crisis in Maharashtra.
However, the MVA government fell when Anand Dighe’s one-time protege Ekanath Shinde split the Sena, ultimately getting control of the party symbol as well.
It was a big blow for Uddhav Thackeray, a party synonymous with his father. However, as far as voters are concerned, it would appear that Uddhav Thackeray is the true inheritor of Shiv Sena’s legacy. At the time of writing, the MVA’s three parties are leading in 28 of the 48 seats and whatever the final count all eyes will be on Uddhav Thackeray when the Maharashtra assembly elections come around next year.

4) Nitish Kumar

Throughout his career, Nitish Kumar has made it a habit of switching alliances, living up to the weathervane tag that was reserved for his buddy from the JP days: Ram Vilas Paswan. Before the elections, Nitish Kumar flipped the script once again after he left the INDIA bloc despite being one of its founding members. As the final numbers stand, JD(U) along with the TDP, might turn out to be BJP’s crucial allies going forward. The 14 seats that the JD(U) are leading in will prove absolutely crucial to the NDA getting a third-term majority. At an event with PM Modi in Patna, Nitish Kumar had promised the Prime Minister Modi that he won’t undergo a change of heart yet again. This had elicited a guttural laugh from the Prime Minister, who will certainly hope that his frequent frenemy doesn’t have another change of heart in the near future.
5) Rahul Gandhi
For a long time, Rahul Gandhi, the de-facto leader of the Indian National Congress has been under-fire, often treated as an object of ridicule, someone who couldn’t do anything right. Everything he said was mocked. But, to quote the only man to win the Nobel, Oscar, Grammy and Pulitzer, the times are a changin’. Two long Bharat Jodo yatras, 107 public outreach programmes and a superlative effort by the Gandhi scion will see Congress give their best performance in 10 years.The INC is expected to hove near the 100 seats, which might not be as high as the numbers that were there under his great-grandfather, grandmother, father or mother, but it’s certainly an improvement and a promise to the BJP that winning elections are going to get tougher.


The Losers

1) Smriti Irani
A lot of column space – proverbial and literal – was spent on Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from Rae Bareli instead of his traditional seat of Amethi. Congress General Secretary Jairam Ramesh had called Gandhi a “seasoned player of politics and chess” and had said that the move was made after “careful consideration”. Instead, Gandhi family’s trusted lieutenant Kishori Lal Sharma was picked to contest from the seat and he’s currently ahead by a margin of 82,000 plus votes against Irani. Five years ago, Irani had shocked everyone by beating Rahul Gandhi in the Gandhi family bastion. It looks like, if the votes hold, that the Congress has managed to wrest back its family bastion.
2) Arvind Kejriwal
In 2012, Arvind Kejriwal emerged as one of most covered figures in Indian politics. The oxygen of publicity was for various reasons including the party’s presence in Delhi and savvy social media usage. However, for one of the country’s fastest growing parties, Kejriwal will surely be disappointed with the party’s final tally. For starters, AAP’s performance is dismal in Delhi where they had a seat-sharing pact with Congress and BJP looks set to win all seven seats. In Punjab, the AAP is only leading in three seats, a shallow return considering the fact that it recently won the Assembly elections in the state handsomely. The party had promised to change politics when it was formed, but 12 years after its inception, the party’s roar certainly seems stronger than its bite and has to make-do being a bit-part player in the scheme of national politics.
3) Prajwal Revanna
Over the last few weeks, JD(S)’ Prajwal Revanna, who also happens to be former PM Deve Gowda’s grandson and sitting Hassan MP from Lok Sabha. Revanna left the country on April 26, even as the hundreds of videos allegedly involving him went viral. He is currently facing charges of multiple instances of sexual abuse by various women and is SIT custody. Many had wondered if a man who was accused of such heinous allegations ought to be a people’s representative but the election result makes that particular debate moot. At the time of writing, Prajwal Revanna is losing by nearly 40,000 votes .
4) YS Jagamohan Reddy
If Chandrababu Naidu is one of the MVPs of the election, then Jagan Mohan Reddy is one of its biggest losers. Reddy has been under-fire for Andhra Pradesh’s poor financial health as the state grapples with a massive debt of Rs 13.5 lakh crore for his welfare schemes. Sources suggest that voters were frustrated by several issues including poor infrastructure, lack of drinking water, a fluctuating power, ginormous electricity bills, and huge prices of essential commodities. With the benefit of retrospect, backward policies have also backfired with his attempt to woo Muslims with 4% reservation and similar benefits to the Kapu community alienated voters. His decision to drop 14 sitting MPs and 37 MLAs from the candidate list also prompted an exodus from the party. His decision to imprison his rival Chandrababu Naidu also triggered a sympathy wave and even allowed Pawan Kalyan to forge an alliance that was perfect for the BJP. At time of writing, YSRCP is only leading in 13 assembly seats and four Lok Sabha seats, a dismal performance compared to their score last time around (151 in assembly and 22 in Lok Sabha).
5) Exit Polls
And finally, the biggest loser of the 2024 Lok Sabha election was without a shred of doubt, the Exit Polls which has as much credibility as the parrots that sometimes turn up on TV stations to predict elections. Most exit polls had given BJP a comfortable lead over 350 with an average of 371 of most meaningful pollsters. Reality suggests that they still haven’t crossed the 300. The problem is known to most who understand basic maths, particularly in a first-past-the-post-system which is often based on vote share that can vacillate wildly while extrapolating. A prime example is the 2014 Lok Sabha Election Result where BJP’s vote shares only increased by 12.2PP but their seat count increased by 166. Similarly, INC’s vote share decreased by 9.24PP that led to 162 fewer seats.
The Opposition had labelled the polls, Modi’s Polls. While the Opposition didn’t garner the required seats, the numbers were so off that some pollsters were spotted shedding tears on live television. Getting back to our original quantum mechanics trope, it’s impossible to predict whether a cat is dead or alive until a box is opened. And it’s hazardous to do so based on exit polls.



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