Year in Review | How India’s political landscape transformed in 2023

Year in Review is an attempt to showcase the events that marked the year 2023. Here’s how India’s political landscape changed over several elections

December 29, 2023 11:40 am | Updated 02:09 pm IST

BJP supporters celebrate party’s victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections.

BJP supporters celebrate party’s victory in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh Assembly elections. | Photo Credit: PTI

As the curtain falls on 2023, it stands out as a significant chapter for political parties in India. It has been a rollercoaster ride over several State elections, and the recently-concluded five-State polls have thrust India into full-fledged election mode ahead of the general elections, just a few months away.

Here is how elections and by-polls panned out for various political parties in India in 2023:

Also read | Year in Review: Important Bills passed by the Parliament in 2023

States and Ruling Parties

At the beginning of 2022, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) held sway over 16 State governments, while the Congress was in power in five States, including via coalition governments in Jharkhand and Bihar. Presently, the BJP rule extends to 17 States. However, the party experienced a setback earlier this year as it lost its sole government in the south, Karnataka. The BJP secured victories in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh during the recently concluded State elections, wresting them from the Congress.

Also read | New order: On three States and the new BJP governments

The Congress had a triumphant return to power in Karnataka and achieved a historic win in Telangana.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) governs in Punjab, and Trinamool Congress rules West Bengal, while other regional parties maintain control over Mizoram, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu. Kerala is the only State ruled by the Left parties. Out of the nine elections held this year, BJP won five, Congress two.

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Among the 4,033 Assembly seats distributed across 30 legislative Assemblies in India, the BJP holds the highest number at 1,478. The Congress party has 669 seats. The BJP is represented by at least two members in all Assemblies except in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, while the Congress has no representation in five States. Apart from the two parties, the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) boasts the highest number of Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) with 227 seats, primarily from West Bengal. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has 160 MLAs from four States, including Goa and Gujarat.

Upper and Lower Houses of Parliament

In the halls of Parliament, the status remains largely unchanged, with the NDA maintaining its majority in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. The slight alterations in seat numbers reflect the ebb and flow of political fortunes but do not significantly alter the balance of power.

Also read | Year in Review: Key Supreme Court judgments in 2023

In the Rajya Sabha, which comprises 245 seats, the BJP holds 94, Congress has 30, the Trinamool Congress (AITC) holds 19, and both the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and AAP share 10 seats each. Currently, six seats remain vacant in the Rajya Sabha.

Also read | Decisive wins: On M.P., Rajasthan, Telangana and Chhattisgarh Assembly election results

Similarly, the Lok Sabha has seen minimal alterations. The BJP’s presence has decreased from 303 to 290 seats, primarily due to deaths and resignations. The Congress has also experienced a marginal reduction, with its tally decreasing from 53 to 49 seats. Presently, 18 seats in the Lok Sabha remain vacant.

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