Had Congress allied with BSP, it would’ve won 40 more seats across heartland states
A Congress-BSP alliance would have secured clear majorities in Rajasthan and MP where Mayawati’s party upped not only its seat tally but vote share too.
New Delhi: Towards Tuesday afternoon, as it became clear that the Congress would miss the halfway mark in Madhya Pradesh, the party’s state unit chief Kamal Nath dialled Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati to explore the possibility of a post-poll tie-up.
But this outreach would not have been required had the Congress been proactive in stitching a pre-poll alliance with the BSP in the state. The party would have had a very clear majority in Rajasthan, too, if this alliance had taken shape.
In all, the Congress would have increased its tally by 40 seats across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
One of the big stories emerging from Tuesday’s results is the resurgence of the elephant in the Hindi heartland.
Not only has the BSP increased its tally in the three states, it has also seen a rise in its vote share, barring Chhattisgarh, where there was a minor dip.
An analysis of results in these states shows that if the Congress had joined hands with the BSP before the elections, its victory margin, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, would have increased manifold.
In Madhya Pradesh, the Congress secured 114 seats, the BJP 109 and the BSP two seats. The party missed out on the majority mark of 116 and thus reached out to the BSP.
Data from the Election Commission website, however, shows that the Congress would have increased its tally by 25 seats if it had joined hands with the BSP.
The seats are Amarpatan, Ater, Bandhavgarh, Bina, Chandla, Deotalab, Devsar, Dhouhani, Gurh, Gwalior rural, Jabera, Jaitpur, Jaora, Khargapur, Kolaras, Maihar, Nagod, Panna, Rampur Baghelan, Semariya, Singarouli, Teonthar, Tikamgarh and Vijaypur.
These are constituencies where the BSP managed to secure a substantial number of votes and in most cases, finished second or third.
In Chandla, for instance, the BJP won with 41,227 votes while the Congress came a close second with 40,050 votes. The BSP was third in this seat with 25,739 votes. If the Congress and BSP had joined hands, their victory margin would have been 24,562 votes.
In Tikamgarh, the BJP secured 66,958 votes while the Congress trailed with 62,783. The BSP finished third in this seat with 9,793 votes. Similarly, in Panna, the BJP won with 68,359 votes while the Congress got 47,651 votes and the BSP finished third with 22,818 votes.
The BSP also increased its vote share in the state since the 2013 elections.
Overall, while the Congress’ vote share was 40.9 per cent, the BSP’s vote share was 5 per cent. The BJP, which finished second, had a vote share of 41 per cent.
In the 2013 elections, the BSP had won just one seat at a vote share of 2.2 per cent.
In Rajasthan, the Congress won in 99 seats while the BJP won 73 and the BSP managed six. But the Congress could have gained in 11 seats had it forged an alliance with Mayawati.
The seats are Amber, Asind, Behror, Ganganagar, Pilibanga, Phulera, Surajgarh, Suratgarh, Mandawa, Dholpur, Bundi.
For instance, the BJP won from Surajgarh with 79,913 votes while the Congress secured 76,488 votes. The BSP got 30,948 votes here.
In Rajasthan too, the BSP improved its tally from the 2013 elections.
The Congress’ vote share was 39.3 per cent, while the BSP’s was 4 per cent. The BJP, which finished second, had a vote share of 38.8 per cent.
In the 2013 elections, the BSP had won three seats with a vote share of 3.37 per cent.
In Chhattisgarh, the Congress won 68 seats while the BJP got 15 and the BSP won in two seats of the 35 it contested. Its ally, Ajit Jogi’s Janta Congress Chhattisgarh, contested from the remaining seats.
Had the Congress tied up with the BSP, it could have won in four more seats — Akaltara, Dantewada, Janjgir-Champa and Masturi.
In Masturi, for instance, while the BJP got 67,950 votes, the BSP finished second with 53,843 votes. The Congress was third with 53,620 votes. Had the Congress tied up with BSP, not only would they have defeated BJP but their victory margin would have been over 39,000 votes.
This is the only heartland state where the BSP’s vote share saw a dip, albeit minimal, even though the party won an additional seat.
Overall, while the Congress’ vote share was 43 per cent, the BSP’s vote share was 3.9 per cent. The BJP, which finished second, had a vote share of 33 per cent.
In the 2013 elections, the BSP had won just one seat but with a vote share of 4.2 per cent.