The decreasing footprints of the Congress Party in Lok Sabha and the Assemblies of most of the States are a cause of concern for the party. The immediate task for the party is to arrest its decreasing footprints instead of increasing its footprints. If we analyse the Lok Sabha elections post-Delimitation then the decreasing footprint of the party will surprise anyone. The basis of the footprint is the main contest by the party on Lok Sabha and Assembly seats. In the 2009 Lok Sabha poll the Congress Party was winner and runner on 347 seats. The Congress Party won 206 seats while the party was runner on 141 seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll the Congress Party’s footprint reduced to 268 seats. The party was a winner on 44 seats while it was a runner on 224 seats. Concerning 2009, the Congress Party lost footprints on 79 Lok Sabha seats.
The footprint of the Congress Party further came down to 261 in 2019 further reduction of 7 seats concerning 2014 and 86 seats concerning the 2009 Lok Sabha poll. In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll the Congress Party won 52 seats while the party was runner on 209 seats.
The Congress party per cent of forfeiting deposits in Lok Sabha is also a reminder for the party to mend ways otherwise to meet annihilation. In 2009 the Congress Party contested 440 seats and lost deposit on 71 seats, in 2014 the party contested 464 seats and forfeited deposit on 164 seats while in 2019 the Congress Party lost deposit on 148 seats by contesting 421 seats. In 2009 the Congress party forfeited a deposit of 16 per cent, in 2014 35 per cent and in 2019 the party also forfeited a deposit of 35 per cent of the contested seats. The Congress Party conceding seats to other parties is another story. It contested 464 seats in 2014 and only 421 seats in 2019. The party conceded 10 per cent of the seats in 2019 concerning the 2014 Lok Sabha poll. In 2024 it is likely that the Congress party will further be forced to concede seats to its allies and may contest on less than 300 seats or even lose more. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll the INC won 44 seats while the third largest party was All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) with 37 seats. In 2014 the Indian National Congress (INC), was even on the verge of being relegated to third spot behind the AIADMK. For the last two elections in 2014 and 2019, the Congress party was not able to win to be able to get the position of Leader of the Opposition.
On the other hand, the BJP’s performance improved election after election post-delimitation. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls the BJP forfeited deposit on 39 per cent of the contested seats. In 2009 the BJP contested 433 seats and forfeited deposit on 170 seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls the BJP lost a deposit on 14.5 per cent of the contested seats. In 2014 the BJP forfeited deposit on 62 seats by contesting 428 Lok Sabha seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha polls the BJP forfeited deposit on 11.70 per cent of the seats. In 2019 the BJP contested 436 seats and forfeited deposit on 51 seats. If we consider the footprint of the BJP in the Lok Sabha poll then it is increasing election-by-election. In the 2009 Lok Sabha poll the BJP had a footprint on 224 seats. It increased to 336 seats in 2014 and further, it increased to 375 seats in the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls the BJP won 114 seats while the party was a runner on 110 seats, in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll the party won 282 seats while it was a runner on 54 seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll the BJP won 303 seats and was runner on 72 seats.
The Congress Party lost its knack and credibility to win an election against the BJP in Lok Sabha in a big way. In the 2009 Lok Sabha poll the BJP and the Congress Party were in a direct contest on 171 seats and the Congress Party won 93 seats while the BJP won 78 seats. In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll the BJP and the Congress Party were in a direct contest on 189 seats the BJP won 166 while the Congress party won only 23 seats. In the 2019 Lok Sabha poll these two parties were in a direct contest on 190 seats the Congress party won 15 seats only. In 2014 the Congress Party won 12 per cent while in 2019 the Congress Party won 8 per cent of the seats in direct contest with the BJP. So, for the last two Lok Sabha polls there are nearly 190 seats on which the BJP and the Congress Party are in direct contest. Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat are the States where these two parties are the main contestants. The NCT of Delhi was also the Union Territory which witnessed direct elections between these two parties till 2009 but after the advent of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the contest in NCT of Delhi is between the BJP and the AAP mostly.