In a major defeat for Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of the upcoming 2019 general elections, his party lost to Congress in key states -- Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and was close to losing in Madhya Pradesh as well. Congress was leading in MP with 114 seats against 109 of BJP, however, the final numbers were yet to be declared.
The outcome means that Congress, which was reduced to a rump of 44 seats in 2014, was able to make inroads.
The exit polls were proven largely correct except in the case of Madhya Pradesh, where BJP was expected to emerge as the winner.
In the case of other two states, TRS retained power in Telangana while Mizo National Front emerged as the winner in north-eastern state Mizoram after about a decade, crushing Congress.
Elections in the five states were held between November 12 and December 7.
The defeat has come as a major jolt to the ruling NDA government which looks to retain itself in power in the next term as well.
In the last Lok Sabha election, the BJP-led NDA had achieved an absolute majority with 282 seats out of 543, with Narendra Modi taking charge as the prime minister. The 'Modi wave' was clearly visible. This was followed by the party bagging several states one after the other in the assembly elections either solely or with alliance.
From just seven states in May 2014, the party grew to having 21 states by March 2018 after winning in Tripura and post-poll alliances in Meghalaya and Nagaland.
However, the first jolt was felt by BJP in the recent Karnataka polls in May where the party lost an opportunity of adding one more state to its list, after almost forming the government -- B. S. Yeddyurappa had become the chief minister for mere two days. HD Kumaraswamy was sworn in as the chief minister after patching up with the Congress at the last minute to block BJP. Karnataka was already being ruled by the Congress before the election, nevertheless, BJP was betting big on the state, hoping to continue what it did in other states.
In June, the party withdrew support to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, bringing the total number of BJP ruling states down to 20.
And now, with BJP tasting its biggest defeat since Modi took office in 2014, the party stands with only 17 states, losing even those which it ruled when NDA came to power about 5 years ago.
With the victory in the three key states (considering it is leading in MP), though it lost in Mizoram, Congress' states have now increased to five from three in May 2018. The party is currently having Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh (considering it is leading), Chhattisgarh and Karnataka.
The states where neither Congress nor BJP is ruling are Tamil Nadu (AIADMK), Kerala (CPI-M), Telangana (Telangana Rashtra Samiti), Andhra Pradesh (Telugu Desam Party), West Bengal (Trinamool Congress), Odisha (Biju Janata Dal) and Mizoram (MNF)
Here's what the map of India in terms of ruling parties looks like now: