Congress fails to get entire anti-BJP vote share

Though the results of five assembly elections was a major setback to BJP, which suffered a huge loss in three key states ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Congress failed to corner all anti-BJP votes. As a result, it failed to get comfortable majority in both crucial Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

Though electorates voted against the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, albeit not as decisively as expected. Madhya Pradesh, in particular, turned out to be a cliffhanger despite three terms of anti-incumbency leaving out some hope for the BJP that all is not lost.

In the five state polls, the BJP saw a dip in its vote share in Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh since the last assembly elections in 2013, but all these votes do not seem to have gone to the Congress alone, as other players have also reaped the gains.

In Chhattisgarh, out of total 90 seats, Congress won 68 seats, BJP won 15, Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) won 5 and BSP won 2.  The latest data showed the Congress got 43% votes, up from 40.3% in the 2013 state polls. In comparison, the BJP’s loss has been wider with its vote share dipping from 41% in 2013 to 33%.  BSP got 3.9% votes, while its alliance with former chief minister Ajit Jogi’s party Janta Congress Chhattisgarh (J) got 7.6% votes, whereas IND got 6.9% votes.

The Congress has won 99 seats in Rajasthan, falling just one seat short of the majority mark of 100. The BJP, which had wrested the state from the Congress five years ago, has won 73 seats, the BSP bagged 6, the CPM got 6 and another 6 went to candidates of three other parties.  BJP’s votes have fallen from 45.2% to 38.3% . On the other hand, the Congress has improved its vote share from 33.1%  to 39.35 in 2018. Independents have improved their assembly tally from 8.2% to 9.5%, while bagging larger number of seats.

The Madhya Pradesh saw closest fight between the Congress and the BJP. The Congress won 114 seats, misses the majority mark. The BJP won 108 seats, BSP 2, Samajwadi Party 1 and Independent candidates won 4 seats. The Congress’ share has improved from 36.4%  to 40.9% , while that of the  BJP has come down from 44.9% to 41%, while the BSP gained 5% votes.

In Telangana, K Chandrasekhar Rao’s TRS steamrolled a feeble opposition challenge to win the assembly elections by a landslide. TRS won 88 seats, the Congress got just 19 seats in its kitty, two less that what it won in the last polls, while the TDP could win only two against its tally of 15 seats in 2014. Whereas, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) won 7 seats.

The TRS has returned to power with a bigger mandate and a rise in its vote share from nearly 34% last time to about 46.9%. The Congress has also improved from 25.2% to 28.4%. BJP’s vote share has remained almost static at about 7% since last assembly elections in 2014. Whereas, AIMIM and BSP got 2.7 and 2.1% vote share respectively.

The Mizo National Front has returned to power with a clear majority of 28 seats (39% votes from 28.8%) by ousting the only Congress government left in the North-East. It is the only state where the Congress has lost its vote share and the BJP has gained.  The Congress vote share has come down from nearly 45%in 2013 to just about 30.2%, while that of BJP has risen five-fold from 0.4% to 8%.

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