BJP’s danger signals from Hindi heartland

Gyan Pathak

Election results of the five state Assemblies point to the shrinking support base of the BJP and the rising support for Congress, especially in the states where the two national parties were engaged in a direct fight. With the 2019 Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the situation is worrisome for the BJP. However, Congress also needs to tread more carefully because wherever they are in direct fight with the state parties, Congress candidates tend to get defeated.
Mayawati’s BSP has also been able to increase its support base. The impressive performance of the two state parties, the MNF in Mizoram and the TRS in Telangana, and somewhat good performance of the JCCJ in Chhattisgarh reflect the regional aspirations of the people.
A closure look at the results of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan indicates that the BJP may not get more than 23-24 seats in the Lok Sabha election of 2019 out of the 62 they won in 2014. Congress may improve its tally from just three to 36-37 seats.
Compared to the support base of 24.83 per cent of the total electorate (vote share 48.70 percent) for BJP in Chhattisgarh in the 2014 Lok Sabha General election, the party has lost the vote percentage to 33, while that of the Congress increased from 38.40 per cent to 43 per cent. The BSP’s share of votes is only 3.9 per cent and its alliance partner JCCJ got 7.6 per cent of votes and 5 seats. If this trend continues, BJP may not get more than two Lok Sabha seats out of 11 in the coming election, while the Congress may win 7-8 seats. In the last Lok Sabha election the BJP and the INC had won 10 and one seats respectively.
In Madhya Pradesh, despite fewer seats, BJP got 41 per cent of votes compared to 40.9 per cent for Congress, which increased its share from 34.90 per cent in the previous election. This trend indicates that BJP may lose almost half of the seats won in the Lok Sabha election 2014. The party had won 27 out of 29 Lok Sabha seats but in the Lok Sabha election 2019, it may win around only 13-14 seats. The INC may increase its tally from only two seats to 14-15.
Rajasthan had sprung up a historic win for the BJP in the last general election giving all the 25 seats of the state. BJP’s vote percentage at that time was 55.61 per cent of the electorate with 54.90 per cent share of votes. However, in the Vidhan Sabha elections of this year, its share of votes reduced to only 38.8 per cent. In contrast, the INC got 39.3 per cent of votes as against its share of 30.40 per cent in the last general election. It was all a BJP versus Congress affair in Rajasthan, though the BSP polled about 4 per cent, giving them 6 seats. Going by this trend, BJP is most likely to lose 15-16 seats while the Congress could increase its tally from zero to 12-13 seats.
Mizoram has revealed that 37.6 per cent of the voters of the state preferred MIzo National Front as against 30.2 per cent in favour of the INC. It translated into 26 seats in favour of MNF and only 5 seats for Congress. It was a sharp decline in the support base of the INC, which was 48.60 per cent in 2014. But it was also a sharp decline for MNF supported Independent’s support base of 47.89 per cent. Mizoram has only one Lok Sabha seat and therefore a fierce political battle is expected on this seat in the general election of 2019. If the present election result is the expression of the regional aspirations of the people, the next general election is also likely to be contested on these lines.
It was also the expression of the regional aspirations in Telangana in which Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) got 46.9 per cent of votes and 88 seats. The Congress could get only 28.4 per cent votes and 19 seats. There are 119 Vidhan Sabha and 17 Lok Sabha seats. In the Lok Sabha election 2014 TRS had won 11 seats with 33.90 per cent share of votes while the share of Congress was only 20.5 per cent. If the present trend continues TRS may increase its tally by one or two seats in the Lok Sabha election 2019 while Congress could get only 2-3 seats. (IPA)

Tuesday, 25 December, 2018