Rajasthan Election Results 2018: BJP fails to overcome jinx, anti-incumbency - Hindustan Times
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Rajasthan Election Results 2018: BJP fails to overcome jinx, anti-incumbency

Hindustan Times, Jaipur | By, Jaipur
Dec 12, 2018 05:16 PM IST

Rajasthan Election Results 2018: The BJP failed to break the jink of a ruling party not returning to power in Rajasthan. While the party will introspect on the causes of the loss, the main factor was anti-incumbency.

Despite claims of fighting on its development plank, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) failed to break the jinx of a ruling party not returning to power in Rajasthan and lost to the Congress party in the assembly elections.

Rajasthan's outgoing Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje speaks to the media after the announcement of Assembly election results, in Jaipur, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.(PTI)
Rajasthan's outgoing Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje speaks to the media after the announcement of Assembly election results, in Jaipur, Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018.(PTI)

However, the BJP performed better than was predicted by exit polls, ending up with a tally of 73 seats. But it was a big defeat for the party that got a thumping mandate of 163 seats in the 2013 elections.

In 2014, the BJP won all 25 parliamentary seats in Rajasthan and the Centre had hoped to continue the trend this time. But with the Congress coming to power, the BJP tally is sure to come down.

Chief minister Vasundhara Raje submitted her resignation to governor Kalyan Singh on Tuesday evening and while the party will introspect on the causes of the loss, the main factor was anti-incumbency. As a result, 16 of the 29 ministers lost. Four ministers who were dropped fought as independents but also lost.

Every section of the society was angry with the government. Whether it was farmers, doctors, teachers, traders or government employees were all on the roads over various demands.

Click here for complete coverage of Rajasthan Assembly Election and Results 2018

Farmers and youth were the most angry with the government. Issues of loan waiver, farmer suicides and MSP angered farmers and they switched loyalty to the Congress with the party promising complete loan waiver.

Youngsters who were promised 15 lakh jobs by the government felt cheated over not getting jobs though the government claimed it had given 44 lakh jobs.

Watch: Rajasthan poll results: Ashok Gehlot or Sachin Pilot? Now race for CM’s post

 

 

The traditional Rajput votebank partially drifted away from the party. Rajputs were angry over the Padmavat episode, as well as the encounter of gangster Anandpal Singh, the clash between the Jats and Rajputs in Samrau in Jodhpur district.

Read | Rajasthan assembly election: Vasundhara Raje lost perception battle before poll loss

BJP spokesperson Jyoti Kiran Shukla said the Rajput factor did show up in the elections. “The Rajput vote did drift away. Two of our Rajput ministers lost while others have won by slim margins,” she said.

There was also anger against chief minister Vasundhara Raje who led the BJP for the fourth consecutive election. Throughout her tenure, Raje faced accusations of being inaccessible, arrogant and not listening to her MLAs and party workers and promoting the bureaucracy. Party workers, MLAs and ministers complained of the dominance of the bureaucracy and work not being done.

Eventually, the party decided to declare Raje as its chief minister candidate and began a series of initiatives to mitigate the public ire and workers’ anger.

A series of public outreach programmes and efforts to strengthen the organisation were undertaken. Raje took out the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra in an attempt to try and connect with the people. Meanwhile, national BJP president Amit Shah focused on strengthening the organisation and held scores of meetings with party workers to motivate them.

Political analyst Prakash Bhandari felt that the hard work by the party and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rallies saved BJP from an embarrassing defeat. “The Congress did not get the thumping majority it was hoping for,” he said.

Hiding their disappointment, BJP leaders maintained that the party had been able to make up lost ground in the past 10 months. The loss in the January bypolls on 17 seats was an indictment of the BJP government and party’s graph tanked and it was expected to win 30-35 seats.

BJP spokesperson Satish Poonia said the party performed better than predicted in surveys, exit polls and punters. He said the farmers’ discontent and the anger among SCs affected the party’s prospects. He said the BJP was not able to convert the beneficiary factor fully in its favour.  The politics over the beneficiaries with the BJP boasting about the benefits given to them seemed to have driven them away from the party.

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