Three takeaways from the assembly election results

BJP’s victory in Assam shows it continues to grow its national footprint; the toughest questions are for the Congress


BJP workers in Guwahati on Thursday. Photo: PTI
BJP workers in Guwahati on Thursday. Photo: PTI

The latest state elections tell us three things. First, its victory in Assam shows that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) continues to grow its national footprint. Second, the main challenge to its further spread comes from powerful state leaders rather than any national party. Third, the Congress is losing ground to the extent that it now controls just one large state.

The Congress at its peak could attract voters across the country because it understood the complex balance of interests in a large nation such as India. It built the archetypical big tent. It is now up to the BJP to craft an even more inclusive political platform. History has shown that India needs a national party in charge at the top of the federal system. Coalitions of regional satraps are notoriously unstable.

The toughest questions are for the Congress. Rahul Gandhi has once again failed to deliver. It is always risky to write off a party such as the Congress, but it needs a leadership change.

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