Modi wave powers BJP sweep in Rajasthan

  • Urvashi Dev Rawal, Hindustan Times, Jaipur
  • Updated: May 16, 2014 15:35 IST

The Modi wave powered Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje's 'Mission 25' as the party won all 25 Lok Sabha seats, its best-ever performance in the state. The last time a party won all 25 was after Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984 when the Congress swept the state. But this time, senior Congress leaders --- party president Sachin Pilot, CP Joshi, Mahesh Joshi, Jyoti Mirdha, Jitendra Singh, Girija Vyas and challengers like Jaswant Singh --- were swept away by the Modi wave.

Apart from the Modi factor, ticket distribution by chief minister Vasundhara Raje worked for the BJP. Raje chose candidates carefully and gambled, as some felt, on Barmer and Dausa seats. In the end, the BJP won. In seats like Barmer, Dausa, Dholpur-Karauli, Nagaur and Bharatpur, where BJP expected close contests, caste equations worked in favour of the party. In Sikar and Alwar, where she differed with the central party leadership on candidates, the Modi factor helped.

While the caste factor did not work for the Congress in some seats, the BJP got overwhelming support from all castes including its traditional supporters like Brahmins, Rajputs, Vaishyas and Gurjars. It also managed to breach the traditional Congress vote base like Jats, OBCs, SCs, STs and even Muslims.

The victory is likely to enhance Raje's stature at the national level.

For the Congress, its back to the drawing board. The generational change in leadership did not pay dividends. Pilot, who had a tough task and little time, has to rebuild the party from scratch and strengthen the organisation which is in disarray since the rout in the assembly elections.

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