Congress emerged as the single largest party with 145 (+31) seats in 2004. This was marginally higher than BJP which got 138 seats (-44). Congress formed a grand alliance called United Progressive Alliance with DMK, Nationalist Congress Party, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Lok Janashakti Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha etc. with Manmohan Singh as PM. Left Front, Bahujan Samaj Party and Samajwadi Party provided outside support.

BJP lost despite Indian Shining campaign. All opinion polls predicted BJP victory and it lost badly. Why? BJP was perceived and it still is perceived as a pro middle class and pro rich party. Poor people who had been used to receiving freebies from. govt. didn’t get any this time and hence voted against the BJP. Plus BJP didn’t handle it’s allies well. DMK was keen on a pre poll alliance but BJP shrugged it off. It dumped DMK and switched allaince to AIADMK before polls, AIADMK got nil seats while DMK 16 seats. The same AIADMK which had played a key role in Vajpayee’s govt. downfall. A lot of allies deserted after Godhra riots – Mamata’s Trinamool Congress, Paswan’s LJP, Abdullah’s NC etc. Overconfidence led to BJP downfall.

6 national parties and 224 state parties fought for 543 seats. BJP lost seats in UP (-19) and Bihar (-18). Plus TDP fared very badly in Andhra (-24 seats) and JDU badly in Bihar. Congres gained in Andhra (+24), Tamil Nadu (+8), Gujarat (+6).

Parties Seats Won Change Votes%
INDIAN NATIONAL CONGRESS (INC) 145 31 27%
BHARATIYA JANTA PARTY(BJP) 138 (44) 22%
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MARXIST)( CPM) 43 17 6%
SAMAJWADI PARTY(SP) 36 10 4%
RASHTRIYA JANTA DAL(RJD) 24 17 2%
BAHUJAN SAMAJ PARTY( BSP) 19 5 5%
DRAVIDA MUNNETRA KAZHAGAM(DMK) 16 4 2%
SHIVSENA(SHS) 12 (3) 2%
BIJU JANTA DAL(BJD) 11 1 1%
COMMUNIST  PARTY OF INDIA (CPI) 10 6 1%
NATIONALIST CONGRESS PARTY( NCP) 9 1 2%
JANTA DAL(UNITED) JD(U) 8 (13) 2%
AKALI DAL 8 (2) 1%
PATTALI MAKKAL KATCHI (PMK) 6 1 1%
INDEPENDENT(IND) 5 (1) 4%
TELUGU DESAM PARTY (TDP) 5 (24) 3%
TELANGANA RASHTRIYA SAMITI (TRS) 5 5 1%
JHARKHAND MUKTI MORCHA (JMM) 5 5 0%
OTHER STATE / UNRECOGNISED PARTIES 38 (16) 13%
Total 543   100%

Source: Statistical Report, Election Commission of India, 2004 & Wikipedia

Some Interesting Facts

  • Voting population was 67.1 crores (2009 elections 71.4 crores)
  • Voting % was 58.07% (2009 elections 59.7%)
  • 5,435 candidates participated, 10.01 per constituency (2009 average 14.86)
  • 77.6% candidates lost their deposits (2009 elections 84.6%)