With 424 aspirants, Cong hopes to better strike-rate

The 2009 Lok Sabha elections have been the best for the Congress when a whopping 46.81% of the 440 candidates it had fielded emerged victorious giving a second term to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

Congress strike rate in the Lok Sabha elections over the last 25 years has been between 25% and 35%. However, the 2009 and 2014 elections have been exceptions.

The 2009 Lok Sabha elections have been the best for the Congress when a whopping 46.81% of the 440 candidates it had fielded emerged victorious giving a second term to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

However, the very next elections proved to be disastrous for the Congress as a mere 9.42% of the 464 candidates it had fielded managed to make it to the Lok Sabha.

Since the emergence of the coalition era, Congress has refrained from fielding candidates on all the 543 Lok Sabha seats.

In 1996, the Congress had put up candidates on 529 seats and managed to win 140 seats – a strike rate of 26.46%. The elections led to the formation of the 13-day Atal Bihari Vajpayee government and later the United Front governments headed by H D Deve Gowda (June 1996-April 1997) followed by I K Gujral (April 1997-March 1998).

In the 1998 elections, Congress achieved a strike-rate of 30.19% as 141 of 467 candidates it had fielded emerged victorious. It was also the time Congress saw transition of power within the party from Sitaram Kesri to Sonia Gandhi.

The mid-term elections that followed in 1999 saw Congress put up 451 candidates out of which 114 made it to the Lok Sabha – a strike-rate of 25.27%.

As Congress stitched pre-poll alliances for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the number of candidates it fielded dropped to 414. The strike-rate that year was 35.02% as 145 among the 414 found a seat in the Lok Sabha.

In 2019, the Congress has again struck regional alliances in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Bihar. It has also refrained from putting up candidates in 10 seats in Uttar Pradesh where key leaders of friendly parties such as RLD and SP are in the fray.

A total of 424 Congress candidates are in the fray in 2019 Lok Sabha elections as Rahul Gandhi makes a determined effort to dislodge the NDA government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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