Modi, Raje and 'BMW' challenging election trend in Rajasthan

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First Published 21, Nov 2018, 12:42 PM IST
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Rajasthan elections Narendra Modi Vasundhara Raje BJP BMW strategy women empowerment
Highlights

According to an election trend, whichever party wins the state elections goes on to win the maximum seats in central elections which is normally held within 3-4 months of state polls

We are all aware of the electoral trends of Rajasthan which throws out incumbent government every five years just like Kerala. If the trend holds true, the Congress is likely to form the government this time. There is another trend which is often ignored. Whichever party wins the state elections goes on to win the maximum seats in central elections which is normally held within 3-4 months of state polls. The BJP has 25 MPs from Rajasthan and this increases the stakes for Modi and Shah.

BJP’s strategy to upset the trend

BJP has formulated a three-point strategy to retain the state and break the trend. The trend holds good till it is not broken. Trends have been broken earlier in Punjab and Tamil Nadu as well which provides encouragement to BJP think tank.

1. Modi Factor

The Prime Minister is very popular in Rajasthan. In 2014 Lok Sabha Elections, while 27% BJP voters backed BJP since Modi was the Prime Ministerial candidate, in Rajasthan the number of such supporters was 42 percent (55% higher). As per Times Now – WarRoom Strategies survey, 31% respondents said they would vote basis Modi factor in state polls. As per India Today Political Stock Exchange, 57% want to see Modi as Prime Minister, while only 35% see Rahul as PM. 

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Source: CSDS reports

Just like Karnataka and Gujarat, the Prime Minister will hold meetings and rallies across Rajasthan in the last two weeks of the campaign. It is widely accepted that PM Modi turned the tide in the BJP’s favour in Gujarat by his campaign. Also, in Karnataka, the BJP’s vote share received a boost of 3%-5% after Modi’s rallies and while most opinion polls were projecting the Congress victory, BJP emerged as the single largest party. PM Modi is expected to cover 85 seats, out of which BJP had won 72 in 2013. The BJP’s strategy is to make these rallies hugely popular and convert the attendance into votes through the organisation. Its aim is to retain most of these seats which could provide it with the much-needed advantage.  

Rally plan

PM Modi's Rallies in Rajasthan

2013 Tally

Date

District Name

Total Seats

BJP

INC

OTH

23-Nov

Alwar

11

9

1

1

26-Nov

Bhilwara, Jaipur

26

22

2

2

27-Nov

Kota, Nagaur 

16

15

1

0

28-Nov

Daungarpura, Dausa

9

7

0

2

04-Dec

Jodhpur, Sikar, Hanumangarh

23

19

3

1


2. Raje’s popularity among women

Vasundhara Raje is popular as a role model among women due to her strong personality and administrative abilities. Once she said that the women sarpanches will rule the villages and their husbands will make tea at home. Women identify with her as a champion of their rights. She is credited with women’s empowerment in the state. She has created many schemes for the upliftment of women. Increasingly, women are now getting respect as the head of the family. 

Schemes like Bhamashah Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Jal Swavalamban Abhiyan, Mukhya Mantri Rajshri Yojana for the girl child, etc., have been empowering women in the state. As head of the family, she is getting DBT benefit. Raje has successfully created a dedicated-women vote bank in the state. Women are increasingly voting on their own and in large numbers. In 2013, Rajasthan's total polling was 75.7%, where male voting was 74.9% and female polling was 75.6%. Female turnout increased by 10.3% in the 2013 elections compared to 7.85 for males. Women voters could make a big difference in 2018 elections. 

3. BMW Factor

The Bharatiya Janta Party is also implementing the Beneficiary and Muslim Woman (BMW formula) to retain power. About 1 crore people have benefited from government schemes in Rajasthan translating into 2.5-3 crore voters out of a total of 4.75 crore voters. If these people vote for BJP nobody can stop it from coming back to power. In 2013, BJP won by bagging just 1.4 crore votes. 

The party’s focus is also to tap Muslim women voter basis the triple talaq ordinance. Muslims account for 9% of the population. This strategy has the potential to result in 4%-5% vote share gain for BJP. In 2008 when BJP lost the vote share gap between the two parties was just 2.5%. This has the potential of adding 15 lakh votes in the BJP’s kitty which is roughly 10% of the total votes received by BJP in 2013 elections. Muslim voters have a significant presence in Sanganer, Bagru, Adarsh Nagar, Malviya Nagar, Vidyadhar Nagar, Kishanpol, Civil Lines and Hawa Mahal assembly of Rajasthan. There are about 3.30 lakh Muslim voters in Jaipur itself as per reports.

Total Voters

4.75 crores

Muslim Voters

42.75 lakhs

Women Voters

20.58 lakhs

% Polling

74.3% in 2013

Women Voters

15.28 lakhs

 

4. Good governance model of Raje

BJP is also projecting the development work done under Raje. It claims what has been done under Raje in the last 5 years has not been done even during the last 50 years. There has been considerable growth across sectors in swachch bharat mission, drinking water provision, road infrastructure. Rajasthan is now a power surplus state. This strategy is to appeal to the young, urban and middle-class voters of the state. 

Services

Services available till 2013

Services from the last 4 years and 6 months

Growth

Construction of Toilets

25.80 lakh

79.30 lakh

310%

Villages with surface drinking water

4900

9900

200%

Higher secondary schools

4418

6494

150%

National highways

7260 km

8178 km

13%

Power generation

6690 MW

12380 MW

50%


We have to wait till December 11 to see if the BJP’s strategy works out or if the public repeats the trend. 


 (Amitabh Tiwari is a former corporate and investment banker who is now following his passion for politics and elections. He is a political consultant and commentator who tweets @politicalbaaba.)

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