Battleground MP (5): BJP swept the state in Presidential style elections in 2014

For the first time after Indira Gandhi, elections in India held in Presidential style

Continuing with its good show in the state assembly elections, BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls held in 2014 bagging 27 out of 29 seats in the state. For the first time ever, BJP crossed 50% vote share in general elections. At the same time, the Congress, who was occupying power in the country, was reduced to just two seats. The Modi wave gripped the entire nation and he travelled more than three lakh kilometre holding 437 rallies across the country.  Modi’s aggressive attack on the corruption hit Congress created an atmosphere in BJP’s favor across the country.

Shivraj factor played a key role

The number of BJP supporters who voted for the party because Modi was the Prime Ministerial candidate was 27 per cent across the country. In Madhya Pradesh, this figure was only 15 per cent. Even if Modi was not the PM candidate, 48 per cent BJP supporters would have voted for BJP across the country.  In Madhya Pradesh, this number was 14 per cent higher at 62 per cent. The figures reveal that Modi wave was lesser in MP and Shivraj factor also played a key role in BJP’s thumping victory.

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Congress could retain only traditional seats of Chhindwara and Guna

Kamalnath and Scindia prevented humiliation of Congress and a BJP clean sweep by holding onto their stronghold seats of Chhindwara and Guna. Chhindwara is the same seat, which Congress won even in the 1977 general elections held in the anti-Emergency wave, when even Congress lost the Lok Sabha polls and the first non-Congress government was installed in the country. In 1977, Congress candidate Gargi Shankar  Mishra won from Chhindwara. Following Mishra’s death,  in 1980 Congress for the first time fielded Kamal Nath who was Sanjay Gandhi’s classmate. Since then he has held onto this seat.

Big victory for BJP, margin in 24 out of 27 seats more than one lakh votes

The victory of BJP was so huge, that it can be gauged by difference of one lakh plus votes in almost all seats won by the party. BJP was leading in 192 of the 230 assembly segments while Congress in 36 only.

All sections supported BJP whereas Congress suffered from infighting

BJP got support from all sections of the society, upper, middle and lower classes, where the party left the Congress far behind. At the same time, the poor class provided some relief to the Congress. 49% voted for BJP whereas 47% for Congress. More women than men (+6%) voted for the BJP mainly because of the popularity of woman centric schemes of Shivraj Singh Chouhan like Ladli Laxmi, Kanydaan / Nikah and Gaon Ki Beti.

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Together with Modi – Shivraj jodi’s charisma, the infighting among Congress factions  also damaged its prospects. According to CSDS survey 38% people considered infighting as the key reason behind poor performance of Congress.

To sum up, the assembly elections at the end of this year will be challenging for both the parties. While BJP is striving to repeat its 2014 performance, Congress is trying to do a gharwapis after 15 years of vanvaas.

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