In the last leg of the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seemed to have left no stone unturned and campaigned aggressively. But were the rallies adequate in number?
New Delhi: With the cessation of the Assembly polls, the BJP lost ground to the Congress in the Hindi heartland. The Congress had claimed that it would make a clean sweep with its allies, but it just managed to sneak past the majority mark.
In the last leg of the campaign, Prime Minister Narendra Modi seem ed to have left no stone unturned and campaigned aggressively. But were the rallies adequate in number?
In Madhya Pradesh, which has 230 Assembly seats, the Prime Minister held a mere 10 rallies or public meetings.
In Rajasthan, which has 200 Assembly seats, PM Modi held nine rallies.
In Chhattisgarh, which has 90 seats, he held only four rallies ahead of the state polls.
Now if we compare this data to the number of rallies and public meetings the Prime Minister held in other states, it is rather alarming.
1. Maharashtra: 25 rallies (for 290 seats)
2. Uttar Pradesh: 32 rallies (for 400 seats)
3. Bihar: 31 rallies (for 240 seats)
4. Karnataka: 25 rallies (for 220 seats)
5. Gujarat: 34 rallies (for 180 seats)
6. Himachal Pradesh: Seven rallies (for 70 seats)
7. Uttarakhand: Five rallies (for 70 seats)
8. Haryana: 10 rallies (for 90 seats)
The BJP was in power in all three states and now the Congress is enjoying a big boost to power there. The BJP put up a strong fight and won seats and vote-share almost equal to the Congress.
One may wonder why the Prime Minister held so few rallies in the Hindi heartland. The Prime Minister BJP chief Amit Shah banked on Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s traction in Madhya Pradesh to draw votes ahead of the Assembly polls; or, perhaps it was the outgoing chief minister who had conveyed to the party's central leadership that he could pull it off alone.
Indeed, for six months in the run-up to the election, Chouhan led the campaign with his Jan Ashirwad Yatra. His wife Sadhana Chouhan was seen super-active in the organisation of this campaign. However, despite Chouhan's best efforts, the BJP lost ground. Perhaps ignoring the Modi charisma wasn't the best idea for the party.
Making Prime Minister Modi take a back seat in the campaign seems to have been a wrong strategy for the BJP in hindsight.
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Last Updated Dec 13, 2018, 12:14 PM IST