MORE than 60 per cent of the country’s population now lives in states either ruled by the BJP alone or in partnership. After Saturday’s results, the population under NDA-ruled states has gone up from 46.2 per cent of the country’s total to 61.1 per cent. Going by the Census 2011 data, the NDA states’ population tally (740.1 million) is now nearly seven times that of the states ruled by the Congress and its allies (107.2 million).
The population under the six Congress-led states and those ruled by it through alliances has also surged from 6.4 per cent to 8.9 per cent, thanks largely to the addition of Punjab. But at 107.2 million, it is just a little over half the population of just one state that came into the BJP fold on Saturday — Uttar Pradesh’s 199.81 million.
Apart from UP, five other of the 10 most populous states in the Census 2011 are now in the NDA fold, including Maharashtra (112 million), Andhra Pradesh (84 million), Madhya Pradesh (72 million), Rajasthan (68 million), and Gujarat (60 million).
The four others in this list ruled by other parties are Bihar, West Bengal, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The stunning Uttar Pradesh victory also means the BJP controls three of the four original BIMARU states, which are now the country’s fastest-growing, as well as states that are hubs of industrial activity (including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh). This will come in handy when the BJP tries to project high growth achievement — though on a low base — in the 2019 general elections.
Latest statistics released by McKinsey & Co project India’s growth over the next decade to be led primarily by eight high-performing states — Gujarat, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Five of these are in the NDA fold, while only one is under Congress rule now.
These states, according to projections by the consulting firm in a new report titled ‘India’s Economic Geography in 2025: states, clusters and cities’, will account for 52 per cent of incremental GDP between 2012 and 2025.
The study also projects that five states, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, will be able to lift 18 million households from poverty and account for 51 million, or 30 per cent of all neo-middle class families in India. All these states are outside the Congress fold.