Rajasthan: BJP retains hold in Mewar, Hadoti, improves tally in Marwar, Jaipur
BJP’s vote share in Rajasthan went up to 41.9 percent as compared to 38.77 in 201 wile the Congress’ vote share went up marginally to 39.53 from 39.30 in 2018
The Rajasthan election results show that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has done well in the Marwar, Mewar, eastern Rajasthan and Hadoti regions of the state while its performance has been below par in Shekhawati and north Rajasthan.
The BJP has traditionally been strong in the Hadoti and Mewar regions, Ajmer and Bikaner while in Marwar, Shekhawati and eastern Rajasthan its performance has been sporadic.
The BJP’s vote share went up to 41.9 percent as compared to 38.77 in 2018. The Congress vote share went up marginally to 39.53 from 39.30 in 2018.
Leaders from the BJP and Congress said the wrong selection of candidates and failing to get the caste equation right have been the main reasons for the party losing seats.
In 2018, the Congress had swept eastern Rajasthan with the Meenas and Gurjars voting for the party. While Meenas have traditionally been Congress supporters, Gurjars went with the Congress in the hope that Congress leader Sachin Pilot would be made the chief minister.
However, Gehlot was made chief minister and that upset the Gurjars. It was expected that the Gurjar vote would shift to the BJP and that was reflected in the results. The BJP, which was almost wiped out in eastern Rajasthan in 2018, winning just one seat in the Bharatpur, Karauli, Sawai Madhopur and Dholpur districts, has improved its tally to 19 seats this time.
The party has managed to get Gurjar community votes but also the SC and Meena community votes which are also in large numbers in eastern Rajasthan.
However, BJP spokesperson Laxmikant Bhardwaj said the BJP did not get one sided Gurjar vote like the Congress had got in 2018.
“Where candidates seen as being close to Sachin Pilot were contesting, the Gurjars voted for them. On other seats, they voted for the BJP. So the vote was split between Pilot candidates and the BJP,” he said.
In Jaipur region too, the BJP has improved its tally from six in 2018 to 12 this time. The BJP also swept Bikaner district, winning all seven seats.
Congress spokesperson Swarnim Chaturvedi said anti-incumbency against MLAs had resulted in Congress defeat. “31 MLAs and 17 minsters lost. Fresh faces should have been brought in on many seats,” he said.
He conceded that the Gurjar and SC vote had gone more in favour of the BJP.
However, the Congress has got a good share of the Jat vote which is reflected in its performance in Hanumangarh and Ganganagar districts and the Shekhawati belt.
But in Marwar region, the BJP has performed well mainly due to the anti-incumbency against the sitting MLAs and ministers. Bhardwaj said there was an undercurrent against the Congress MLAs and that has resulted in ministers and MLAs losing with big margins on most seats.
The BJP has retained its traditional hold in the Hadoti region comprising Kota, Bundi, Jhalawar and Baran districts. The Congress has done well in Bundi, winning all four seats. But in other areas, the BJP has done well.
In the Mewar belt, the BJP has once again retained its hold. The BJP won 18 seats, the Congress won seven and the Bharatiya Adivasi Party won three seats in the Mewar region. In 2018, the BJP won 1 seat, the Congress won 10 and others won three.
BJP leader Mukesh Dadhich said the party’s selection of candidates and social engineering were done properly which resulted in the win.
Political analyst Mithilesh Jaimini said the BJP has got a majority of votes from not only the Brahmins, Rajputs and Banias but other communities as well.
“The Gurjar vote was split between the BJP and Sachin Pilot backed candidates. The Jats voted on the basis of the candidates, so the vote was split between the BJP and the Congress. But the BJP managed to take a good share of the Meena votes largely due to the influence of BJP leader Kirori Meena. The SC vote too has gone with the BJP in many areas,” he said.
He said the Congress failed to shift the Mali vote from the BJP. “They had expected the Malis would largely go with the Congress but that did not happen,” he said.