The Congress appears to be the biggest beneficiary of some close contests in this summer’s polls.
One-third of the newly elected Congress members of the Lok Sabha were among the 50 candidates who won with the minimum margin as per the results announced by the Election Commission on May 16.
Their number was one more than that of the BJP, which has 282 members in the 16th lower house, indicating that the grand old party of India benefited the most from close contests.
As many as 14 Congress candidates of its total 44 find their names in the list of 50 candidates. Some of the prominent Congress leaders who scraped through because of the multi-cornered contest included outgoing petroleum minister Veerappa Moily, son of President Pranab Mukherjee, Abhijit and outgoing minister of state human for resource development Shashi Tharoor.
The BJP, which with 31% votes got the absolute majority — the lowest ever vote percentage to cross the mid-way mark in Lok Sabha — has just 13 winners in this list.
But, where the Congress was not a match for the BJP was in the top winning margins. Of the 50 biggest margins of victory, the BJP had 36 winners with the Congress just managing two.
One of them was Congress president Sonia Gandhi who won with a margin of 3.52 lakh. Her victory margin was, however, four thousand votes less than Adhir Ranjan Chaudhary who won from Baharampur in West Bengal.
The highest victory margin in 2014 election was that of prime minister-designate and BJP leader Narendra Modi from Vadodara in Gujarat. He defeated his nearest rival by 5.70 lakh votes.
Former Army chief and BJP candidate V K Singh had the second highest margin of 5.67 lakh votes. Modi won from Varanasi seat by over 3.71 lakh votes.
The 2014 polls have witnessed some of the biggest victory margins in recent times with the BJP gaining from multi-cornered contest in politically important Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where the party got 93 of the 120 seats.