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Lok Sabha Elections 2024: Key States Outlining Roadmap To Delhi

As India walks into the final lap of preparations leading up to the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, all eyes are on the key states with their major share of seats and contests that are poised to shape the electoral narrative in the days to come.

Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC) Flags are seen together at a Flag Printing market in Old Delhi, India Nasir Kachroo/NurPhoto via Getty Images
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While the last-minute tunings are being executed, the BJP-led NDA are putting together the final pieces of the jigsaw to inch closer to their 370-mark call and the Congress-led INDIA camp looks to maintain their strongholds, ride on the dissatisfaction and deter the Opposition from their objective. As the country walks into the final lap of preparations for the Lok Sabha election 2024, the biggest democratic elections in the world, spread across 543 constituencies, the road to Delhi passes through a few key states poised to host crucial content that will shape the narrative in the days to come.

Outlook looks at such few key states with major shares of seats in the Lok Sabha and how the narratives are shaping the matrix.

Uttar Pradesh

Holding a mammoth share of 80 seats, Uttar Pradesh has always held the key to the Lok Sabha. A BJP stronghold over the last couple of terms, taking a record 71 seats in 2014 and 62 in 2019, NDA looks to clean-sweep UP for the third time. With the recent Ayodhya Ram Mandir consecration, the state which has been the kernel of BJP's Hindutva project and is set to continue the saffron streak. On the Opposition front, following numerous rounds of negotiations, the INDIA bloc will see Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) tackle BJP's supremacy, following a setback which saw Jayant Chaudhary-led Rashtriya Lok Dal jump ship from the opposition bloc and joining NDA. The state will also see the PM Narendra Modi contest from Varanasi for the third time. As often said, the road to Delhi passes through Lucknow and NDA will look to clasp on to their lion's share of seats in the Lower House with a robust performance in UP.

West Bengal

With 42 seats, West Bengal where the Trinamool Congress (TMC) has held ground against BJP quite defiantly, is expected to host a tricky contest this time. Over the last two Lok Sabha elections, the Trinamool Congress has seen their seat share decline from 34 in 2014 to 22 in 2019, with the BJP capitalising and locking in 18 seats, significantly improving from their 2014 share of two seats. However, with the state being a political hotbed this time, TMC is to expected to be challenged from all fronts. While they expected to hold onto their bastions, BJP has managed to gain grounds in numerous pockets across the state. According to experts, the recent Sandeshkhali fiasco will certainly play a role in determining the sway in South Bengal in addition to the North already having seen BJP gain considerable ground. Another factor which stands important in the national scheme of things is CM Mamata Banerjee's decision to go solo in her state, deciding against seat sharing with the Congress. 

Maharashtra

Maharashtra, with a share of 48 seats in the Lower House, looks poised to host one of the most interesting contests this term. The INDIA bloc has found shape in the state with Congress finding stable allies in the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena (UBT) and Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar while the NDA looks to repeat its 2019 performance which saw them sweeping the state with 41 seats with the BJP winning 23 and then ally, the undivided Shiv Sena locking in 18. However this time, NDA finds itself sharing an alliance with Eknath Shinde's Shiv Sena faction and Ajit Pawar led NDA in a contest which is being deemed immensely crucial and seemingly open, walking into the final month.

Bihar

With 40 seats, Bihar makes for an important contest ground for both of the factions this time around. With Janata Dal-United tied with the NDA in 2019, the alliance swept the seat with 39 seats while Congress' alliance took a solitary seat. However, with CM Nitish Kumar, a founding member of the INDIA bloc changing colours and joining the rejoining the NDA, Bihar has seen created huge turmoil in the past few months. However, according to experts, while the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) led by Lalu Yadav and the Congress look can capitalise on the brewing dissatisfaction in the state which has caught national attention owing to the unprecedented and strategic shift, NDA's chances to sweep the state stand strong again. Bihar stands to be a crucial test and with forty important seats in the lower house, will be a point of deep focus for the NDA.

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu with 39 seats has proved to be a guaranteed bastion for the INDIA bloc with the DMK-Congress alliance holding confident ground. With the Lok Sabha polls approaching and the DMK finalising a seat-sharing deal with the Congress and Kamal Haasan's Makkal Needhi Maiam, the BJP-led NDA and AIADMK find themselves strongly challenged to put a mark in the upcoming polls. In 2019, the DMK-Congress alliance registered a landslide victory in the state winning 38 out of the 39 seats. With the BJP-led NDA losing the support of the AIADMK last year,  Tamil Nadu will play an important role in providing the very necessary momentum to the opposition block in establishing hold over Southern India. However, CM MK Stalin led DMK have pointed out clandestine ties between BJP and AIADMK in the run-up to the polls, which if materialised can be a factor to look out for the INDIA bloc in the coming days.

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