The below two charts(attached) compare the states where Congress and BJP are strong. Just this is enough to understand why BJP can never be an alternate to Congress in India. BJP is terribly weak in the south and non-existent east of West Bengal, and courtesy Nitish Kumar and Navin Patnaik, they exist virtually only in the west and centre of India. If BJP is expected to be a stable alternate to Congress, they should try to strengthen there. Now coming to Congress. It exists almost everywhere except in some states. If Congress is to be relevant in India, they should actually analyze and understand what happened because of which they are a virtual non-entity in their one time strongholds like West Bengal or Tamil Nadu or UP. Else, it will take time, but the downslide is not going to stop. The number of Lok Sabha seats they won is not related to this as that is dependent on which local strongman they are partnering with.