There are no permanent friends or foes in politics, as recent events in Maharashtra have amply illustrated. And, voters do not stay enamoured with one political party or political formation, as election after election since the 1990s has shown. The emergence of strong regional parties led by charismatic leaders has dealt shocking defeats and even snatched away what appeared to be certain victory from national parties. The BJP, which appeared indomitable a year ago, has seen its footprint shrink across State Assemblies, as this graphic shows.




The unexected loss of Maharashtra was a rude shock to the BJP, coming as it did after the loss of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh to the Congress in December 2018. The party's hold over Haryana weakened recently and it runs a fragile government in Karnataka. In the coming weeks and months, its popularity will be put to test once again when Jharkhand, Delhi and Bihar go to the polls.